Manuel Pellegrini says there is much more to come from Kelechi Iheanacho.
The youngster’s first Premier League goal couldn’t have been better timed and the Blues’ boss believes the Nigerian will only get better in years to come – though he added he has plenty of hard work ahead of him.
“Kelechi scored the goal and he had another chance. Kelechi is a very young player - he's just 18 years old. He worked with the rest of the team all week,” said Pellegrini.
Last season, he was very unlucky because he had an injury which meant he couldn't play the last few months but this season, but he spent pre-season with the squad and he is one for the future
“In front of him are Kun and Bony who are very good players, but he is an important striker who still has a lot to improve.”
Pellegrini was pleased his team showed such grit and determination in the 1-0 win over Palace.
The Eagles went into the game in second place on the back of an away win at Chelsea and have been one of the surprise packages of the campaign so far.
“I said before the game it would be a very tough game,” he said. “It was first versus second and playing Palace at Selhurst Park is always very difficult. They are a very good team in a very good moment.
“They started strongly and they were more aggressive than our team. They didn't have many chances to score but it is normal when you come back from the international break that you aren’t at your best.
“After half-time, we had more clear chances and finally, we scored the goal at the end which we deserved.
“It is important to have a gap ahead of the other teams - especially the champions - but really, we are just working game by game. We are only five games in and we have to start other competitions now, but it is important to start in the way we have.
“I am very happy with the attitude and the way we are playing. I hope we can continue playing the same way.”