Man City man not a ‘genuine option’ for Southgate in position despite ‘outstanding’ showing on debut | OneFootball

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Football365

·21 November 2023

Man City man not a ‘genuine option’ for Southgate in position despite ‘outstanding’ showing on debut

Article image:Man City man not a ‘genuine option’ for Southgate in position despite ‘outstanding’ showing on debut

Rico Lewis shakes hands with Gareth Southgate.

Manchester City defender Rico Lewis is not a ‘genuine option at left-back’ for England manager Gareth Southgate, according to a journalist.


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Lewis made his England debut in Monday’s 1-1 draw against North Macedonia.

He might have conceded a penalty on the night – a very dubious decision it was – but the Cityzens teenager performed very well in Skopje.

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Article image:Man City man not a ‘genuine option’ for Southgate in position despite ‘outstanding’ showing on debut

Following the draw, Three Lions boss Southgate said Lewis’ was “outstanding” with the ball at his feet in an overall “excellent” debut.

“His performance and then his reaction to what I know will have been a disappointment for him, but we’re not looking at him for being at fault in any way,” he said.

“His composure with the ball was outstanding and he should be really proud because we are very, very pleased with what he did.

“We thought Rico throughout the whole game was excellent,” he added. “Great composure, great resilience.

“We didn’t feel he had anything to come back from but I know sometimes as a player you might feel that.

“But we thought there was no crime, so we were pleased with everything he did.”

Lewis has played as a right-back, left-back and defensive midfielder under Pep Guardiola but Sky Sports journalist Rob Dorsett does not think he will be a ‘genuine option’ in left-back, which is where he played against North Macedonia.

‘I don’t think he is, no,’ Dorsett said when asked if Lewis will be viewed as a left-back by Southgate.

‘I think he is an option somewhere else in the squad. Southgate looks for versatility and Lewis has got that in spades. He can play at right-back, defensive midfield, No 8, left-back.

‘But positionally, and I was sitting in the stadium last night in Skopje, he was all over the place and Maguire was covering for him quite a lot and talking to him quite a lot.

‘That is absolutely no criticism of Lewis. I think he was outstanding for England in the game. But he was not outstanding as a left-back. The good things he did were when he drifted into midfield and played more in that defensive midfield role that he has been playing so well in for Manchester City.

‘So, while I don’t think he’s a solution at left-back, I think he has a chance of making the squad.

‘March will be a massive camp for him, against Belgium and Brazil. But I think he would be a good addition because of his ability and versatility and also the character he showed after conceding that harsh penalty.

‘He showed real maturity for a lad just turning 19. He did not sulk, didn’t get upset. He was professional and impressive for the rest of the game.

‘The situation at left-back is a problem. But Southgate will be hoping that he is not desperately unlucky and Luke Shaw, Ben Chilwell and Levi Colwill are all injured when it comes to the camp in March.’

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