Manchester City’s teen sensation Kelechi Iheanacho said comparisons to cross-town rival Marcus Rashford only push him to work harder.
In what has been a poor season for City and Manchester by their lofty standards, the teen duo have provided silver linings for both clubs with their goalscoring heroics.
Iheanacho has been ever-present for City this season, making 34 appearances and scoring 13 goals across all competitions.
Across town for United, Rashford burst onto the scene in February when he scored two goals on debut in the Europa League against Midtjylland.
Since, the 18-year-old United striker ha scored seven goals in 16 games, including the winner in March’s Manchester derby.
Rashford’s rise has earned him comparisons to Iheanacho but the 19-year-old Nigerian said it only makes him more determined to succeed.
“I love a challenge so when people compare me and Rashford, it gives me more confidence and motivation. It also makes me work even harder,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I hope people keep comparing us because if we can keep challenging each other in the coming years it could be great for Manchester. If we both keep doing well, improving and scoring lots of goals for the team it could be interesting.”
Iheanacho said he could learn from Rashford and said it was good to see two young players push for regular action in teams such as City and United.
“Rashford is a great young talent. He is big and strong and makes good decisions so I think he’s going to be a really good player for United in the coming years,” he added.
“You can learn from every player so I’ve learned from Rashford as well this season and I wish him all the best in his career.
“Like all young players coming through for their clubs in this country, I hope they do well and continue to do well. Nobody knows what will happen in the future though.
“I don’t know anyone who is playing who doesn’t want to keep improving and be at the top level. I don’t know if I’ll end up being a top player or not.
“But I’ll be working hard to achieve that and I wouldn’t complain if it happened. I just have to keep going and see where it takes me.”