Pep Guardiola claims youngster will be Man City star for the next ‘decade’ following Liverpool win

The Manchester City manager claimed his youngest player on Thursday was the standout performer.

Pep Guardiola has claimed Rico Lewis will be a Manchester City star for the next ‘decade’ following his superb display against Liverpool on Thursday night.

The teenager, starting just his third senior game for the Blues, played a starring role as City beat Liverpool 3-2 in the Carabao Cup fourth round. The defender also occupied a highly accomplished position in the cup tie, one that saw him intermittently flit between right-back and midfield depending on if City had the ball.

Lewis has enjoyed a meteoric rise this season and having made his debut at the beginning of the campaign, already looks to have established himself as a valued member of City’s senior squad. Speaking after the win over Jurgen Klopp’s side, Guardiola claimed Lewis was his man of the match and said the right-back has a bright future ahead of him at the Etihad.

“I had the feeling that without him we could not play the way we played. Absolutely really impressed for a young age. Today he played against a really senior team,” said the City manager.

“It is not about how good [he is] with the ball, it is without the ball. Today Cole [Palmer] and him, especially Cole in the first half, played incredibly well. But Rico played so well for 90 minutes.

“We had the privilege to almost announce that this guy will take a big decade, will be an absolutely incredible player for Manchester City in the next years because he is so intelligent, so humble, he understands everything in just one second and applies everything. We have an incredible right full-back with us for the next few years.

“He always plays good, but against Liverpool especially, [Darwin] Nunez, [Mohamed] Salah, Thiago and [Andrew] Robertson on his side. He is 18 years old. The way he plays was outstanding. He was man of the match.”

City progressed to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup thanks to goals from Erling Haaland, Riyad Mahrez and Nathan Ake, while Fabio Carvalho and Salah were on target for the visitors. Guardiola’s men will now face Southampton in the last eight on 10 or 11 January.