Right back, with the tendency to centralize to play together with midfielders, Guardiola as a coach. If you did not add to this description also being in business, you would be led to believe that you are talking about Philipp Lahm and not the new talent of City, Rico Lewis. A native of Bury, the village where rival legend Gary Neville comes from, Rico Lewis won over the Catalan coach so much that he was able to sell João Cancelo, with whom he was at loggerheads. And if his technical qualities allowed him to make up for the departure of the Portuguese, it was those tactics that made him overcome in the hierarchies, in some of the variants of Guardiola’s game, even a veteran like Kyle Walker. The reasons for this overtaking lie in Lewis’ ability to interpret the role of full-back in a hybrid way, coming to play inside the field, where he can show his ability to dribble simple and effective, a natural result of his always playing with his head held high. Joining the Citizens’ youth at the age of 8, Rico Lewis won two titles with the U18 selection, earning the chance to participate in the preseason with the first team.

On this occasion, thanks to the minutes against Club America and Bayern Munich, he earned the trust of Guardiola and then made his official debut on the second day against Bournemouth.

Although his debut in the Champions League took place in the disruptive victory against Copenhagen, his debutant ball in Europe took place in the challenge against Sevilla. Against the Spanish team Rico Lewis has condensed in a performance all his technical and tactical qualities, ’85 minutes in which he divided himself between the tasks of the full-back and the midfielder without any awe and embellishing his excellent performance with the goal of the momentary draw (the game ended 3-1 for the English hosts). In addition to the aforementioned offensive and setting qualities, Rico Lewis showed excellent defensive instincts and no fear of clashing with physically stronger opponents.

At national level, Lewis made only three appearances for England U19 in the European Championship qualifiers; to date it is not clear if he will be among the call-ups for the U20 World Cup or if he will have the opportunity to participate directly in the European qualifications of the senior national team.

Having the ability to integrate so quickly into Guardiola’s game systems, and do so while competing in the world’s competitive league, is a rare attestation of intelligence for players of such a young age; Rico Lewis is the exception, not the rule; Citizens fans hope to have found their, personal and Mancunian, Philipp Lahm.