Joe Hart described Kelechi Iheanacho as “brilliant” after the 19-year-old striker scored twice in Manchester City’s 4-0 Premier League victory over Stoke City on Saturday.
Fernando and Sergio Aguero fired City into a 2-0 lead at the break at the Etihad Stadium and, after a short spell of Stoke pressure, Iheanacho produced two cool finishes to round off a convincing win.
The goals took the Nigerian forward’s tally to 11 for the campaign and goalkeeper Hart praised his impact since making his debut in August.
“He’s been brilliant,” Hart told Sky Sports. “He turned up last pre-season somewhat unknown it’s fair to say and he has really worked hard and got stuck in.
“He’s really worked hard and has got a lot of belief from the manager.
“He’s a brilliant part of our squad and we’re really proud to have him coming through our youth system.
“Scoring goals like today was really important and showed what a good squad we’ve got.”
Iheanacho himself added: “I’m very pleased and very happy to score goals today.
“I think I’m improving a lot but I really need to work more hard in training and games to show my qualities.
“So any time I’m in I have to show my quality and work hard for the team, for the fans and for everybody.”
The result moved City five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United in the chase for Champions League qualification.