Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini expects Kelechi Iheanacho to go from strength to strength after his starring role in the 5-1 League Cup win over Crystal Palace.
The 19-year-old put in a fine performance as City eased into the last eight, his goal adding to strikes from Wilfried Bony, Kevin De Bruyne, Yaya Toure and Manuel Garcia.
Those efforts were enough to secure a comfortable win over Palace, for whom Damien Delaney grabbed an 89th-minute consolation.
And Pellegrini believes Iheanacho’s display will prove a foundation for future improvement.
“It was very important for him,” said the boss in quotes on the club’s official Twitter account. “He’s not just a striker. I see how he works every day. He will continue to improve.
“He’s not just a finisher. He always plays with his head up. He can play behind the striker.”
City are the favourites to lift the trophy after Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United exited this week.
Yet Pellegrini is refusing to look too far ahead, adding: “We’re not thinking about the final in February. We’re thinking about Norwich on Saturday and then Sevilla.”
One worry for Pellegrini was right-back Pablo Zabaleta being stretchered off just after half time with an apparent knee injury, although the manager was unable to provide any form of update on the Argentinian.
“We will see how he is tomorrow,” Pellegrini said.