Iheanacho dreams of emulating Toure

It wasn't that long ago that Kelechi Iheanacho watched Yaya Toure on television, but now he finds himself playing alongside the Ivorian legend at Manchester City.

While Toure has won all there is to win at City and during his Barcelona days, Iheanacho is only finding his feet in the English Premier League this season.

However, his rise has been rapid as he has already scored nine times for his club, including his first career hat-trick in an FA Cup game against Aston Villa.

And at the age of 19, he certainly has a lot of time on his side to emulate Toure.

"I support Barcelona because I watched the Spanish league. I saw Yaya [Toure] playing for Barcelona… and now I’m playing with him. It’s a dream come true," Iheanacho said in an interview with the Daily Mail.

"I have to be my own man but he is a big influence in Africa. He has done a lot in Africa and I hope to do that as well."

It has certainly been a whirlwind couple of months for the youngster as he has gone from a reserve player to a member of the first-team squad with manager Manuel Pellegrini not shy to throw him on when the team need a goal.

Iheanacho, though, is staying grounded despite playing alongside the likes of Toure, Sergio Aguero and David Silva.

"You feel a bit nervous, these are great players. It’s important to listen," he said.

"I’m happy playing with them now and they give me confidence to play, they encourage me a lot. That doesn’t mean I’ll disrespect them or feel I’m one of them now. I wouldn’t just do anything I liked — I’ve got to keep my head down, keep working hard."

He may only be 19, but back home in Nigeria the people certainly know who Kelechi Iheanacho is.

"It’s amazing when you go back home now, when you remember how you were before. You go back home and all those people are calling your name, shouting. I get mobbed by the kids. They want to see you, want to know you."