Home Other Rico Lewis is an effective patch for the left-back position of the Three Lions.

Rico Lewis is an effective patch for the left-back position of the Three Lions.

by Kyle Bonagura
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Despite being the cause of the penalty in the 1-1 draw against North Macedonia, Rico Lewis still impressed manager Gareth Southgate. In his debut for the England national team, Lewis demonstrated that he deserved to continue being given opportunities in the left-back position, which lacked options for the Three Lions.

No one else but the young player from Manchester City, Rico Lewis, garnered special attention with an impressive performance in the dull 1-1 draw between England and North Macedonia in the final round of EURO 2024 qualifiers. With his debut for the England national team, Lewis became the second young player from Man City to debut for the Three Lions.

Specifically, at 18 years and 364 days, Lewis ranks second only to Micah Richards, who made his England debut against the Netherlands in November 2006 at 18 years and 144 days. Lewis also became the 33rd player to debut for England while representing Manchester City and the first since Phil Foden in September 2020 against Iceland.

Lewis received the Man of the Match award.

In the recent 1-1 draw between England and North Macedonia, Lewis was involved in a controversial foul on Bojan Miovski in the penalty area, leading to North Macedonia’s opening goal in the 41st minute. Despite conceding a penalty, Rico Lewis displayed courage and confidence, playing energetically in attack and defense without showing signs of panic.

Statistics after the match showed that Lewis had 80 touches, delivered 59 accurate passes (with a passing accuracy rate of 98%), won 7 duels, successfully recovered the ball 4 times, made 2 successful tackles, provided 1 decisive pass, and had 1 accurate shot on target. Alongside these contributions, Rico Lewis was awarded the Man of the Match title.

Personally, manager Gareth Southgate expressed enthusiasm and praise for Lewis after his debut for the England national team. “Lewis was excellent. We don’t consider him at fault for the penalty situation. His composure with the ball was impressive. Lewis should be proud because we are very pleased with what he did,” said Coach Southgate.

It’s also worth noting that the England national team has witnessed cases of players losing their sparkle quickly after promising starts, such as Micah Richards, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Jadon Sancho. However, this could be an exception with Lewis, considering that Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola has been very impressed with this versatile young player, considering him one of the best players he has ever coached. Lewis played in the central attacking midfield position when England had possession in the match against North Macedonia. Lewis mentioned that he feels his best position is as a number 8 in midfield.

Nevertheless, with Gareth Southgate facing a shortage of left-back options due to the sensitivity to injuries of Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell, this versatile player has proven to be a promising solution for the left-back position in the Three Lions lineup.

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