Pellegrini: Kelechi added to Champions League squad
- 01 February 2016 12:59
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Kelechi Iheanacho will be added to City’s UEFA Champions League squad, Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed.
Samir Nasri drops out of the squad as his manager confirmed that the French playmaker is still two months away from a return.
Pellegrini admitted it was a difficult decision to come to but the need for a striker had to take precedence as Wilfried Bony’s injury lay-off continues.
He confirmed: “Yes, Kelechi will be in the Champions League squad. I told Samir Nasri i would take him out of the list as he needs two months more to be fit. We need Kelechi now as Bony is injured too. We couldn’t take the risk to go into the last 16 game with just Kun.
“It’s always difficult to tell a player he will not continue in the list but Samir understood perfectly that he needs at least two months more.
“It wouldn’t have been easy for him to recover his best performance in that length of time.
“We needed another striker and Kelechi is in a good moment.
“Kelechi is one player in our squad - it’s important when young players have the option to show why they’re an important player. He will continue trying to fight to start every game. For me, as a manager, you have to work with the whole squad as we have to play so many games.
“It’s important for everyone, not just for the players but for the club who’ve invested a lot of money in the training ground to have players arriving from the Academy into the first-team.
“It’s important to bring young players into the first-team but they must be good players so that we continue to be a competitive team.”
Aleksandar Kolarov will return to the City squad following his injury for the upcoming game against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
However, Fabian Delph will miss out after suffering a mild calf injury in the win at Aston Villa.
Manuel said: “The injuries are the same names with Kompany, Mangala, Samir Nasri, De Bruyne and Bony. The player that is fit is Kolarov. Fabian Delph has a small problem from the last game so he’s not on the squad list for tomorrow.
“It’ just a kick in Fabian’s calf - it’s not a serious injury. We have to play again on Saturday so I don’t want to take the risk.”
“I don’t know if Wilfired’s injury is serious but it’s longer. He tried to start working harder and he couldn’t, so he’s now restarting.”