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Saturday, August 5, 2017

How Leicester move will help Iheanacho – Onigbinde

Former Nigeria coach , Adegboye Onigbinde, has said Kelechi Iheanacho’ s move from Manchester City to Leicester City will boost the player ’s confidence while helping him to grow into a better player .

Iheanacho joined Leicester on Thursday for a reported £ 25 m with an option for City to buy him back for £ 50 m . The 20 - year - old , who joined the Citizens in 2014 , has played 46 games for the senior side over the past two seasons.

Former Super Eagles coach Onigbinde, who led Nigeria to the 2002 World Cup in Korea / Japan, believes Iheanacho has the potential to become a world - class player and will grow better at Leicester.

“Every footballer wants to always play first team football and Iheanacho is not left out . He is a young player with a lot of years before him. He needs regular first team action to realise his potential to the maximum,” Onigbinde told our correspondent on the telephone on Thursday .

“This is what he lacked at Manchester City last season. He showed a lot of promise under their previous coach (Manuel Pellegrini ) but the new coach (Pep Guardiola) seems not to believe in him. The coach wants to succeed and had plans so the young man did not fit into his plans . So the move to Leicester was necessary . ”

The veteran manager added, “First team action at the club level will help the player to grow and also help him to learn more things in the game – given his age. He will develop into a better and sharper striker because he will relate with players who are more his age mates and also those a little older than him.

“This was what helped in my decision in 2002 when I went for three home - based players in the final list for the World Cup . They were regulars for their clubs and they showed what they could do on the big stage. Iheanacho ’s national team form will also improve since he will play regularly at his new club . ”

The former Shooting Stars coach also identified administrative incompetence as the reason for the inability of Nigerian players to attract big clubs in Europe.

He said, “The likes of Neymar and others are attracting big - money transfers because in their country, there is a conscious effort to develop football from the grassroots. The administrators there have a plan, which everyone who comes in has to follow. Their training pattern and playing patterns are similar and the payers are trained in such a way that they develop with the system.

“The problem is not coming from the coaches or the technical aspect – it is administrative . There are many recommendations for the development of football and players by CAF and FIFA which the Nigeria Football Federation has not looked into . When players are grown with the right training and culture in addition to their talent , they will become world- class and big clubs will go after them.

“Back in the days, the local league had many good players who made fans come to watch matches. If you didn ’t like Shooting Stars, you will still come out to watch the matches because of either Awesu or Muda Lawal . The same goes for Julius Berger and Stationery Stores. These days we don ’ t have those kinds of players again. The ones who are coming up are too hungry to go outside and choose wrong clubs just to make money .

“We have to clean the system and do the right things for the players to develop properly and as a result , attract good clubs . ”

Onigbinde advised the Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, to concentrate on building a strong team for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier double -header against Cameroon .

Nigeria will play Cameroon in Uyo on August 31 before visiting the African champions in Yaounde on September 4 .

He said, “A coach should not underrate or overrate any team . What should be his business is the strength and ability of his own team . When you have the right players and build the kind of team you need for a match, you will not be afraid to face any team .

“Cameroon have always been a tough opponent for Nigeria and will remain as such . That they didn ’t do well at the Confederations Cup doesn ’ t mean they are a bad team . Nigeria should be careful if they are to get the needed points from the two matches against them. ”

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