Former Arsenal and Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole believes Manchester City youngster Rico Lewis is showing a versatility that he didn't have at his age.
The 18-year-old has enjoyed a breakout season under Pep Guardiola with the teenager becoming a first-team regular following his performances in the Champions League. Lewis' displays in early 2023 were keeping Kyle Walker out of the side post-World Cup and while the experienced right-back has regained his place, the youngster has continued to push him all the way.
Lewis might be a right-back by trade but he has shown his ability to play in a number of positions. Against Burnley on Saturday, the defender filled in at left-back and has also played in midfield when required.
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This has led Guardiola to compare him to Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm and Lewis has now been praied by Cole. Speaking to The Sun after Lewis' England U21 call-up, the former full-back, who is now the national team's U21 assistant manager, was full of praise for City's starlet.
He said: "Rico is showing his importance at such a young age of being adaptable. He can play right-back, centre-back, even being small, left-back.
"He’s come through a Man City group with Pep’s ideas of, ‘this is how we want to play’, being brave in what they do. He’s adapted so well and you see the growth he’s had.
"I certainly couldn’t do that at that age, to be that game-aware but do it with high quality and concentration." Lewis played 66 minutes this weekend as the Blues progressed comfortably into the semi-finals of the FA Cup thanks to a 6-0 victory over Burnley.
An Erling Haaland hat-trick followed by a brace from Julian Alvarez and a strike by Cole Palmer made it a not-so-happy return for Clarets boss and City legend Vincent Kompany.