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'This guy will have a big decade' - Guardiola hails youngster Rico Lewis after starring role in Man City victory over Liverpool

14:44 EAT 23/12/2022
Rico Lewis Man City 2022
Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on Manchester City wonderkid Rico Lewis and backed him to star for the club over the next decade.
  • Lewis starred against Liverpool
  • Scored against Sevilla in UCL
  • Guardiola 'impressed' with the youngster

WHAT HAPPENED? The teenage right-back was a standout performer in the Carabao Cup fourth round clash with Liverpool on Thursday, with City sealing a 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium. Lewis had previously scored on his senior debut against Sevilla in the Champions League. Lewis was handed a start as both Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo had just returned from the World Cup. He proved his mettle to Guardiola and that prompted the Spanish manager to hail him as an "incredible player".

WHAT THEY SAID: “I’m absolutely really impressed, for a young age, how he played against a real, real senior team. It is not about with-the-ball intelligence, it is about without the ball. We had the privilege to almost announce that this guy will take [have] a big decade, will be an absolutely incredible player for Manchester City in the next years because he is so intelligent, so humble. He understands everything in just one second and applies everything," Guardiola told to reporters after the match.

“He always plays good, but not (just) against Liverpool. Liverpool are special, with (Darwin) Nunez, (Mohamed) Salah, Thiago (Alcantara) and (Andy) Robertson on his side. He is 18 years old and the way he played was outstanding. He was man of the match," he added.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lewis is a City academy graduate and was promoted to the senior team in the summer. He has made seven appearances under Guardiola so far and looks set to rack up more minutes in the second half of the season. Moreover, he is the youngest player in Champions League history to score on his debut, breaking the record set by Karim Benzema in 2005. The Man City player set the new record at 17 years and 346 days, while the 2022 Ballon d'Or winner was 17 years and 352 days when he scored for Lyon.

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WHAT NEXT FOR LEWIS? After an impressive display against Liverpool, Lewis would hope that he is given a start against Leeds United in the Premier League on December 29.