Pep Guardiola has said that Manchester City would have to change manager before Kelechi Iheanacho’s chances of first team football would improve.
The Nigerian striker has started just three Premier League games under Guardiola – six in total this season.
With £27m Brazilian international Gabriel Jesus set to arrive in January, his opportunities will be limited further.
Leading scorer Sergio Aguero is at the top of the pecking order, with Guardiola preferring to play with a lone striker.
It means Iheanacho has spent much of the campaign watching on from the sidelines.
When asked what would have to happen to get the 20-year-old more first team opportunities, Guardiola said: “Change the coach maybe!
“Of course he deserves to play, but there are many, many others who deserve to play too.
“Our job is so uncomfortable for these kind of decisions.
“Normally when these guys don’t train good, when they are not nice guys with his team-mates, it doesn’t matter, but that is not the case with Kele.”
Despite Jesus’ imminent arrival, Guardiola is adamant Iheanacho will get opportunities.
“My advice is keep going, keep fighting, sooner or later everything is coming back, and of course he’s going to have his minutes,” he said.
“Until now he played good, but in the big teams sometimes that happens.
“You can play just 11 players and that’s all.”
Kelechi has only played for five minutes in Manchester City’s last 4 games in all competition, he was an unused sub again last night as the Citizens played 1-1 draw against Borussia-Monchengladbach.