‘Unbelievable’ - Phil Foden claims Man City team-mate ‘proved’ he’s ready for bigger role

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The Manchester City star also said he’s been impressed by the impact of summer signing Mateo Kovacic.

Phil Foden praised Rico Lewis’ ‘unbelievable’ display against Bayern Munich on Wednesday and claimed the teenager proved he is ready to play a bigger role at Manchester City.

Lewis started in central midfield and provided repeated runs in behind during the course of the pre-season encounter in Tokyo, which City won 2-1 thanks to goals from James McAtee and Aymeric Laporte. The opener came as a direct result of Lewis’ rampaging dart in behind, as he powered his way through the Bayern defence and cut the ball back to Julian Alvarez, who saw his shot saved, before the follow-up was tapped in by McAtee.

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But up against a midfield three of Joshua Kimmich, Konrad Laimer and Jamal Musiala, it was Lewis who ran the show. The City academy graduate kept the ball ticking over, produced a superb range of passing and helped move the ball from defence to attack.

Like most of the outfield players who started the game, Lewis was replaced at the break, and Foden felt the superb performance showed that City’s no.82 has the quality needed to play a bigger role for the club going forward.

“I thought he was unbelievable, I said to him afterwards that I thought he was my man of the match,” Foden told City’s media team. “He didn’t do anything wrong in the first half. I think it’s one of the best games I’ve seen him play.

“I’m happy for him because he’s come from the academy like me and brings so much to the team. He’s got a lot of quality and he’s provided it today that he can play in this team,” Foden added.

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Lewis played in midfield alongside summer signing Mateo Kovacic, another who played well in the first half. Foden said after the match that he’s been impressed by the Croat’s impact since arriving from Chelsea.

“Mateo has come straight into the team, and he has fitted in really well and looks at home,” said the England international. “He’s a person that can bring a lot of quality to the team.

“He is aggressive in the challenges and good at getting out of pressure in tight situations. I feel like him coming into the team can help us a lot and I'm really excited to play with him.”

Asked for his views on the game, Foden said: “Today against Bayern, such a quality team, we know they’re good on transitions; they can hurt you in behind and I thought today we dealt with that really well.

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“We controlled the game and the manager touched on it at half-time, ‘don’t give the ball away cheaply because they can hurt you on the counter’. I thought we did that really well and played a good game.”

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