By Nurudeen Obalola:
Nigerian youngster Kelechi Iheanacho is in Manchester City’s pre-season tour squad for the second straight year.
The Flying Eagles forward was the standout player, in spite of the presence of senior stars, during last year’s pre-season tour to the United States of America.
This time, City are spending most of pre-season in Australia, where they arrived at on Friday. They will play three games Down Under, including two in the International Champions Cup (Australia edition).
Manchester City’s first match of pre-season is on Saturday against their sister club, Melbourne City, and Iheanacho is one of several youngsters expected to be given playing time by Manuel Pellegrini.
The Nigerian teenager, who has been tipped to get first-team opportunities in the 2015/2016 season, will also be involved as City face Roma on 21 July and Real Madrid on 24 July, both in Melbourne.
City will round off their pre-season in Germany with a match against Stuutgart on 1 August.
The 2014 Premier League champions get their league campaign under way on 10 August against West Brom, with Iheanacho hopefully in the frame.
Iheanacho’s stature is gradually growing at City, as Pellegrini has name checked him and he has been tipped by the Manchester Evening News to be promoted to the senior squad in the new season.