As he backed his manager’s views on Rico Lewis’ potential, Phil Foden said that playing in midfield alongside him for Manchester City is a dream come true.
At RB Leipzig on Wednesday, Lewis shone out in a number eight position, racing into the box to set up Foden, who was also playing in midfield, for City’s opening goal. Pep Guardiola praised Lewis after his all-action performance and called him one of the best young players he had ever worked with.
After the victory at the Red Bull Arena, Foden was asked about that evaluation, and the fellow academy alumnus wholeheartedly concurred. Foden said of Lewis, “He’s one of the best young players I’ve seen,” how his presence on the pitch alters City’s strategy.
“When he’s dead sharp in the pockets, he appears to quicken our pace and get us playing. He played well; it’s excellent to see two academy guys combining for the goal.
In these huge games, you’re typically a little shy when you’re 18 years old. He is quite the opposite. He wants to impress and win the ball. I admire his perseverance. He just needs to get some playing time to develop into a solid player.
When chosen, Lewis continues to demonstrate his skills in a variety of roles, and Foden is impressed by how quickly he has integrated into the City first team. Foden, a player who also graduated from the academy, said playing with Lewis was a “dream come true” for him.
He still has time; he’s only 18.” It’s wonderful to watch the performances he’s doing at such a young age, added Foden. “With this coach and the way he develops players, he will only become better.
He only needs to pay attention and want to improve. Rico already understands that; I don’t need to inform him. I’m thrilled that an academy player is participating in these important matches; it’s a dream come true for me.
As the second number eight in front of Lewis, Foden thought back on his own performance and expressed his happiness at scoring to round out a strong midfield performance.
Since Foden has stated that attacking midfield is his preferred position, he has been given a plenty of opportunities to perform there.
“I participated there tonight; there is much room for improvement. There are many things I can learn from playing as I play more games there, he remarked. “I’m thrilled with tonight; I made a few chances and scored, which was crucial. If I continue acting in that manner and serving as the key player for us, we may expect to score.
“There is much work left to be done, and it will take time. I’m eager to spend more time there and have a deeper understanding of the position. I can only keep doing my hardest and getting better.