Portsmouth director of football Avram Grant hailed the role played by Kanu in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Burnley at Fratton Park.
The 33-year-old set up Hermann Hreidarsson to break the deadlock for Pompey at Fratton Park as his clever passes gave the Clarets defence a major headache when he came off the substitutes’ bench after 59 minutes.
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Kanu has started just twice for the Premier League strugglers this term but his strong reputation as an impact substitute has seen him called into action from the dugout 13 times.
Asked why the former Arsenal man did not start against Burnley, Grant said: “It’s very easy – he’s 55 years old. He’s 60 next year.”
But the Israeli believes the ex-Inter Milan and Ajax star adds a dash of flare to Pompey‘s play, which he feels a decreasing number of players possess in the modern game.
He said: “Football has changed a lot in the last 10 years – it has become more athletic and more aggressive.
“But I think we need to look for intelligent players like Kanu because in one move he can change the game, like he did for the first goal.
“He’s highly intelligent and thinking about the game and he’s very good for the team.”
While Grant sang Kanu’s praises after the game, Burnley boss Owen Coyle did not feel the Nigerian international was responsible for the south coast club, who failed to pay their players on time last month, taking the points.
The Scot said: “Kanu is a quality player and is obviously paid vast sums of money, but that’s a different topic.
“He gave everybody a lift but I don’t think he completely influenced the game. We lost concentration at the two goals and that is a disappointment for me.”