‘I certainly couldn’t do that at that age’: Chelsea legend Ashley Cole praises Manchester City defender

Chelsea legend Ashley Cole has said Manchester City teenager Rico Lewis’s versatility is an attribute he didn’t have at the same age. The 18-year-old has enjoyed a great season at the Etihad.

Lewis has appeared 18 times in competitions, scoring once. He impressed in City’s 6-0 demolition of EFL Championship side Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday (March 18). The versatile defender played in an unfamiliar defensive midfield position, but did not look out of place, making three tackles and one clearance.

manchester city defeated the Clarets thanks to a hat-trick from Erling Haaland, a brace from Julian Alvarez and a goal from Cole Palmer. Lewis came into the game after earning a call-up to the England Under-21s.

Former chelsea Left back Cole is the coach of the England youth team. He took the time to praise the city star, telling The Sun:

“Rico is showing his importance at such a young age of being adaptable. He can play right-back, centre-back, even as a small, left-back. He has come into a Man City group with Pep’s ideas of ‘this is how we want to play ‘, being brave in what they do. He has adapted very well and you can see the growth he has had”.

Cole went on to say that Lewis has shown versatility at an age where he didn’t:

“I certainly couldn’t do that at that age, being so aware of the game but doing it with high quality and concentration.”

Lewis’ meteoric rise this season has been vital for the Cityzens as they need depth. The winger Joao Cancelo fell out of favor with Pep Guardiola and went to Bayern Munich handed over in January. Lewis has thrived in whatever role his manager has given him.

Chelsea and Manchester City in race to sign Romeo Lavia

Romeo Lavia is attracting interest from Manchester City and Chelsea.
Romeo Lavia is attracting interest from Manchester City and Chelsea.

Romeo Lavia is fast becoming one of the most sought after teenage midfielders in the Premier League. The 19-year-old has made 24 competitive appearances for the Saints this season, scoring one goal and providing one assist.

According to Football Insider, Manchester City are well positioned to sign Lavia, who left the Etihad for St Mary’s last summer for £12m. However, the Cityzens face stiff competition from their big six rivals Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

City have a £40m buyback clause for the Belgian midfielder, but it doesn’t kick in until the summer of 2024. Chelsea are looking for a new number 6 following Jorginho’s departure for Arsenal in January. Lavia may be one to keep an eye on in the summer.

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