Manchester City secure future of highly rated academy fullback

Rico Lewis, Manchester City (Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images)
Rico Lewis, Manchester City (Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images) /

Manchester City and their academy have taken headlines in recent years, and look close to tying down one of their very best products.

The right-back situation at Manchester City over the last season has been, well, a whirlwind. It started with Joao Cancelo, who, after the 2021/22 season, was part of the PFA Team of the Year; having had an absolutely outstanding season, started to lose his way to begin the 2022 season. Whether before or after his dip in form, Cancelo’s relationship with Pep seemed to have deteriorated rapidly, and he was sent to Bayern Munich on loan. While we saw a little of Kyle Walker on the side, it was primarily young Rico Lewis who took over for Manchester City during the end of December, January, and even into February.

While he certainly showed he was more than capable of this new right-back & defensive midfield role, even becoming the youngest player to score on his Champions League debut, he eventually conceded his spot to John Stones, who went on to have the best 6-month stint has ever had in his career. That said, Rico Lewis made it clear that he was ready for the sudden jump to first-team football in a title-winning team under Pep. He ended up finishing the season having played 16 games across all competitions last season, and will no doubt be hungry to be a bigger part of Pep’s plans this season.

Rico Lewis signed with Manchester City at the age of 8 and has seen a complete progression all the way up to the first team. Making his debut for the U-18 squad at just 15 years old, it’s clear his skill level is beyond his years and has been from an early age. Ahead of the 21/22 season, he was named captain of the U-18s and helped City to lift the title while winning the Under-18s Player of the Year award. He then progressed to the EDS squad to begin last season, and as they say, the rest was history. With his rapid progression over the last few years, it’s hard to say where Lewis could be viewed in the European football landscape in a few years’ time.

Already this season, Lewis started the opener against Burnley and played 79 minutes before being brought off for new signing Josko Gvardiol in what would finish a 3-0 win for Manchester City.

One thing is for sure, both Manchester City fans and teammates alike will be happy with this extension. Manchester City knows that sometimes, extending a player’s contract is just as valuable, if not more, than trying to bring in a new recruit.