Iheanacho: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea fight for Africa's best young talent

Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea are all tracking Kelechi Iheanacho. Here's why he is bewitching the Premier League's top clubs.

Kelechi Iheanacho is a young player the world is about to hear a lot about.

The Nigerian was the Golden Ball winner at the recent under-17 World Cup in the UAE, as his country won the tournament for a record fourth time.

The trophy was awarded for the 'best player' of the tournament, and in the past has been won by prestigious names including Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos.

Iheanacho is an attacking midfielder whose record was quite staggering. He scored six goals in seven games, also laying on seven assists. (Other sources list five assists, but FIFA's website, linked previously, states seven).

He is attracting real attention from Europe's top clubs, namely those in the Premier League.

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport has reported today that Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have all made enquiries over his signature.

"He turned seventeen a little over a month ago. Seven appearances, six goals and five assists in the UAE. Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have already tried.

"Wenger did not follow Iheanacho to the United Arab Emirates by his collaborator Steve Rowley, chief talent scout is ready to invest in this midfielder, in full respect of a philosophy that has always seen the London club focus on young people of value."

Iheanacho can play as either an attacking midfielder in a similar role to Mesut Ozil, or as a support striker.

The following was a comment left by a reader who is a Chelsea fan on HITC Sport last week about Iheanacho and midfielder Musa Yahaya.

"Chelsea/Emenalo need to get Iheanacho and Yahaya before Arsenal do. I would be p***ed if they get them ahead of us. Those two are giving us a buzz that we haven't felt since JayJay and Kanu came on the scene."

It's quite a statement, and illustrates just how highly rated the teenager is in his homeland. The club who get their hands on his signature will have secured quite a coup.

Arsenal and Chelsea already have huge Nigerian fanbases, and signing their best young talent would only see that support increase dramatically.

Iheanacho is without a club, registered to a talent academy in his own country, but with offers flooding in at his doorstep - it appears he will have his pick of the Premier League's top clubs, and those around Europe. If he gets it right, we could be about to witness the career of a true footballing superstar going into orbit.

image: © nova3web

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch