Pep Guardiola labels Rico Lewis ‘one of the best’ players he has ever trained ‘by far’
The kid is going to be special and if you don't believe us, you can take Pep's word for it.
Manchester City got back to winning ways in the Champions League on Wednesday night, beating RB Leipzig 3-1 with two late winners and while praise will obviously be heaped on the goalscorers, manager Pep Guardiola focused more on one man in his post-match press conference: Rico Lewis.
Lewis is still only 18 years old but is already starting to become a more regular first-team player for Pep at fullback and after assisting another lad in Phil Foden for the opener against the German side, his coach had nothing but glowing words for his performance.
“I have been a manager for 14, 15 years, training unbelievable players. To find a player like him playing in the pockets, how he has to move in holding midfield, full-back coming inside moving in the spaces – he is one of the best I ever trained by far.”
“He is a humble guy, doesn’t talk much”, added Pep but insisted that he “has the appreciation of all his mates.”
“He didn’t play much this season [still managed six appearances in less than a dozen games into the season]… last season he was a key point and helped us understand what we should do in our build-up. Today was proof again… he hasn’t played as much [yet] but he is going to play a lot.”
The Catalan coach went on to say that “his composure from day one is always surprising” detailing how assistant coach Carlos Vicens suggested bringing him because he can play on either flank.
“Then he played against Bayern Munich at right-back and I thought this guy is good!”, continued the 52-year-old, explaining how Lewis then began training with the first team and suddenly realised, “Oh, this guy is good!”. Speaking to a TNT Sport reporter after full-time on, he had a similarly amazing reaction:
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While he may have joked that the academy product might not be the most physical of players when it comes to his stature just yet, he reiterated that he is an “amazing, outstanding player” and to stumble across a player that moves so well in the middle whilst still be so good at defending is “difficult to find”.
Adding that he can also “play in four or five different positions” and is “not scared” on the pitch, he summed things up by saying the youngster pretty much “has everything”. High praise indeed.
Although the City boss himself held his hands up for possibly overexaggerating in his similarly hyping up new signing Matheus Nunes’ ability last month, Pep insisted that Lewis “deserves all the praise from ourselves and the media”.
You can watch the highlights of City’s 3-1 win over RB Leipzig below:
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Featured Image — Manchester City/Rico Lewis (via Instagram)