Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has insisted that Kelechi Iheanacho has a future at the club and that his limited playing time is because he has too many attackers.
The Super Eagles forward has scored four goals this season, but has hardly had a chance under Guardiola.
Iheanacho was left out of the squad for the Premier League game at home against Tottenham, as fears over his City future increase with the arrival of Gabriel Jesus.
The 20-year-old has also been left out of the squad for Saturday’s FA Cup clash against Crystal Palace. But Guardiola says he remains an important part of his team.
“We have seven strikers, three in the middle, four or five wide. Normally we play two or three,” Guardiola told the Manchester Evening News.
“I don’t know how many others play. We play five or six offensive players and thanks to that we create a lot of chances.
“That is the case if you analyse the games against Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea and United at the beginning of the season, and especially in the first half of the season.
“In the second half, we created much, much more than our opponents but we didn’t create the kind of chances for this kind of player.
“But of course, Kelechi is part of the squad.
“Jesus and Nolito are young strikers, Gabriel, Raheem and Kelechi, they are so, so young strikers and they will be the future. They have to adapt.
“Raheem is only playing in the Champions League for the second time in his life and fighting to win the title so of course we give them time.
“Of course we evaluate how they do in the games and the training sessions.
“At the end I try to be fair based on what I have seen in performances.
“Of course I have to evaluate it based on what I see on the grass.
“It is a case for all the players here – for the strikers, the wingers, the centre-backs, the full backs and the goalkeepers, all of them.
“When they don’t play, they have to win my confidence in them.”