Iheanacho ready to deputise Aguero during Premier League suspension
MANCHESTER -- Kelechi Iheanacho insists he's ready for the responsibility of stepping into Sergio Aguero's boots when the Manchester City striker begins his four-game ban in the Premier League.
The Nigerian striker made his first start in over a month for City, scoring an equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Celtic in the Champions League.
Iheanacho, 20, could now start in the Premier League clash with Leicester City at the weekend as Aguero begins a suspension for his two-footed tackle on Chelsea's David Luiz at the weekend.
The Argentina international will also miss the games against Watford, Arsenal and Hull City before returning for the trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on Dec. 31.
"I have a responsibility to be the striker for the team, replacing Sergio when he is not around," Iheanacho told reporters. "I have to prove myself, give my best and work hard for the team and make sure we get the wins we need."
City were already assured a second-placed finish in Group C and manager Pep Guardiola took the opportunity to rest a number of his first-team players and gave starts to some younger members of his squad.
Iheanacho was delighted with his eighth-minute strike, but said he was disappointed not to win despite their being nothing riding on the result.
"It was a tough game today," he added. "They are a very good side with quality players. We are pleased to get the draw but it wasn't the result we were looking for.
"It was a great goal and a good response from our team collectively. I thank my teammates because they put the effort in to give me the ball to score."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.