Rico Lewis, the new nugget adored by Pep Guardiola


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Manchester City struck a nice blow Thursday night. By winning at Chelsea (1-0) the defending champion not only pushed his opponent in the evening, but above all came back to 5 points from Arsenal. Pep Guardiola may have won a future holder there as well. Entering the break in place of João Cancelo, the very young Rico Lewis participated in changing the face of his team, just like Grealish, decisive passer, and Mahrez, scorer. After a failed first period, the Cityzens ended up winning, thanks in particular to the contribution of the versatile 18-year-old right-back. It is his trainer himself who says so.

“In the second half it was a completely different Manchester City, at a different pace. He changed the dynamic from the first minute he came on. We were asleep but it went better when he came on. There are players who are good, but he makes the others even better. Rare compliments for such an inexperienced item. The young man born in 2004 has only 11 appearances under the colors of his training club, including 5 tenures. For his first starting lineup in the Champions League last December against Sevilla FC, he even had the luxury of scoring his first professional goal.

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Guardiola adores him

An evening of celebration ruined by Spanish supporters, guilty of racist insults against him. This bad episode aside, Rico Lewis is becoming the player that we did not really expect in the midst of this plethoric workforce. While he still has to fight with Kyle Walker and João Cancelo, who can also help out on the left, the Englishman has started the three previous meetings as a starter (against Liverpool in the League Cup, then against Leeds and Everton in the league ), before playing a full half at Stamford Bridge. Even better, the Manchester native is capable of playing in different positions.

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Against the Blues, he didn’t really play as a right-back but rather as a kind of hybrid midfielder associated with Rodri. “In recent games, Rico has shown his ability to improve the midfield. At every moment, he knows when to open the game inside and what to do. He changed the situation” Guardiola insisted Thursday evening in London. An observation shared by all observers. It now remains for Manchester City to lock his last nugget, he who is under contract until 2024 with a salary of around 22,000 euros monthly. Negotiations have even already started according to the English press.

A versatile player

Guardiola is waiting for that. “On the contract, I’m not the right person, I don’t know the club’s decision. But what he did in the last three games against the top teams, under great pressure, how well he played, exceeded my expectations. When we review the matches, everything was done well. He’s such a smart player and he can play in different positions. We are delighted that the Academy has produced another top player and we hope he can stay for a long time.” Dubbed by his training club and his coach, the U19 international sees the door to a bright future open.

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