Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has hailed young striker Kelechi Iheanacho after he scored, and helped City ease into the next round of the Capital One Cup with a 5-1 victory over Crystal Palace. The 19-year-old produced a superb performance which has put him in contention to start this weekend.

Kelechi Iheanacho was one of the five City players to get on the score sheet against Crystal Palace, as City thumped the visitors. But Iheanacho was the standout man for Pellegrini, and the City boss admits he is temped to give the 19-year-old a start.

Pellegrini wanted to play Iheanacho last season

It is difficult to book a place in the starting eleven if you play the same position as Sergio Aguero, but Pellegrini believes Iheanacho is ready to compete. The Chilean admits he could have played last season, but an ankle injury kept him out for a long time.

a I work with him every day so I know what he can give to our team. Last season I think he was ready to do it.”, Pellegrini was quoted as saying by Dailymail.

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a We talk about his work permits but unfortunately for him he had a very serious injury in his ankles. That is why he couldna t play last season. Now he is ready and I am very happy for him to demonstrate what he can do. But it is just one game, he must repeat, he must improve.a

Iheanacho could become the second choice striker at the Etihad

While Sergio Aguero is the first choice striking option for Pellegrini, he does have a few injury issues. Under these circumstances, banking on the Argentine isn’t a wise thing to do if one is looking to win the league title.

Although City have the option of Wilfried Bony, he is not irreplaceable. If Iheanacho can elevate his game in the coming months, the Nigerian might just get the nod ahead of Wilfried Bony.