LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has ruled out adding more firepower in the January transfer window to bolster his side’s Premier League title challenge, saying Nigerian teenager Kelechi Iheanacho was adequate back-up.
Iheanacho is third choice behind Sergio Aguero and Wilfried Bony but has still scored five goals in all competitions despite being limited to a number of substitute and cup appearances this season.
The 19-year-old scored City’s second goal in the 3-0 FA Cup third round victory at Norwich City on Saturday.
“Kelechi has been involved from the first game of this season,” Pellegrini told a news conference on Tuesday ahead of his side’s Premier League clash at home to Everton on Wednesday.
“He’s in the squad in that position and we have Bony, we have (Raheem) Sterling, we have Kun (Sergio Aguero).
“It’s important for Kelechi to play like he did against Norwich. He’s the answer when you ask if we’re going to buy another striker — we have Kelechi.”
City, in third place, three points behind leaders Arsenal, face Everton for the second time in seven days after losing 2-1 at Goodison Park in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final last week. They will face the Toffees again in the second leg on Jan. 27.
Pellegrini said Bony, Fernandinho, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri will miss Wednesday’s game but David Silva and Yaya Toure will return to the squad after missing the Norwich clash.
“Mangala tried to work yesterday with normality but he couldn’t. He had some pain still in his muscle — for him, it’s best to wait a bit more. It’s the same for Fernandinho and Bony. For Kompany and Nasri, it’s longer,” the Chilean said.
(Reporting by Justin Palmer; Editing by Toby Davis)