Rico Lewis (17 years, 346 days) is the second youngest English participant to attain a Champions League objective after Jude Bellingham (17y, 289d) for Dortmund on 14 April 2021
Pep Guardiola hailed 17-year-old Rico Lewis’ Champions League night time to recollect and guaranteed the teen he earned it as a result of “we do not give presents” at Manchester Metropolis.
Bury-born Lewis has been with Metropolis since he was eight.
He marked his full debut by driving dwelling the Blues’ equaliser of their 3-1 group stage win over Sevilla.
In doing so, he was eclipsing Karim Benzema because the youngest participant to attain on his first begin within the competitors.
He left the sector to a standing ovation, which was extra pronounced as a result of he needed to stroll midway across the pitch after being advised to depart it on the far aspect by the referee when he was changed by Joao Cancelo 5 minutes from time.
“We do not give presents right here,” stated Guardiola. “He needed to earn it.
“The individuals love gamers from the academy however we see him on daily basis. We all know he has high quality and I’m actually blissful for him.”
Guardiola took Lewis on Metropolis’s pre-season tour of america this summer time after the teen was really helpful by the membership’s youth coaches.
He stated his squad realised inside two minutes at coaching the teen was somebody they may depend on.
“He performed for a couple of minutes in opposition to Bayern Munich in pre-season and likewise within the coaching periods. We felt he had one thing particular.
“The gamers did not know him earlier than. However you realize good gamers in two minutes. They knew they may depend on him 100%.”
Lewis grew to become the youngest participant to attain on their first Champions League begin
Guardiola says Lewis must be affected person as a result of the competitors for the right-back slot, the place Cancelo, Manuel Akanji and John Stones – all internationals who’re prone to be on the World Cup later this month – have featured this time period, have extra expertise. However he’ll get extra possibilities, doubtlessly as quickly as subsequent week’s Carabao Cup third spherical tie with Chelsea.
And that, in accordance with Guardiola, is nice information for a membership that, for all the cash they’ve spent on star gamers, has additionally developed the likes of Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Brahim Diaz and Cole Palmer, who additionally began in opposition to Sevilla.
“Typically you assume we’ll have to purchase full-backs, figuring out how costly it’s,” stated the Metropolis supervisor.
“However we may give somebody from the academy the possibility. That is the dream. It’s good for the financial system of the membership and we will depend on him. I’m very happy with the best way they’re working.”
Evidently, Lewis has an extended highway forward if he’s to make it at a membership of Metropolis’s stature.
Nevertheless, his begin has been good and even previous professionals reminiscent of former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown, who will not be impressed simply, had optimistic phrases for Lewis on BT Sport.
“It is a huge second for him and his household, the quantity of coaching periods he can have been to with the dream of representing Metropolis,” he stated.
“To play and rating, it is a dream come true for him. It is solely step one, the primary rung on the ladder – while you get within the first group, you need extra of this. This could whet his urge for food.”