Pep Guardiola hailed the immense impact of Rico Lewis in the 3-1 win over RB Leipzig, declaring: ‘What a player!’

Lewis was a bundle of energy throughout the 90 minutes and produced a performance of class and composure in Germany.

The boss was delighted with what he saw and promised we’d be seeing much more of Lewis in the future.

“What a player. What a player,” said Guardiola in his post-match press conference.

“18 years old. I have been a manager for 14, 15 years training unbelievable players.

“To find a player like him playing in the pockets, how he has to move in holding midfield, full-back coming inside moving in the spaces - he is one of the best I ever trained by far.

“He is a humble guy, doesn’t talk much, but has the appreciation of all his mates.

“He didn’t play much this season - last season he was a key point and helped us understand what we should do in our build up. Today was proof again.

“This season he hasn’t played as much but he is going to play a lot.”

Lewis came to the fore in pre-season 2022/23 as he was selected to head out to the States for the summer US Tour.

The manager said he wasn’t planning to take Lewis until coach Carlos Vicens suggested the inclusion of the now 18-year-old.

The rest, as they say, is history, with Guardiola wowed by the quality of the versatile young star.

“His composure from day one is always surprising. I didn’t even consider bringing him on pre-season the previous one,” continued Guardiola.

Carlos Vicens said ‘maybe you can bring Rico’. Because he can play right-back, left back, I didn’t know him.

“Then he played against Bayern Munich at right-back and I thought this guy is good! “Then he started training with us and I said ‘oh this guy is good!’

“When you play inside, you have to be 360 and you have passes coming from everywhere, that is the most difficult position to play. As a central defender, all you see is in front of you.

“He is a big talent and to find that is not easy, to come from the Academy, he always trained so good.

“I’m very pleased for him. He deserves all the praise from ourselves and the media - he deserves it.”

Lewis, a popular player in the senior squad, is admired greatly by his teammates even at such a young age, according to Guardiola.

“He is a member of the squad in ability. Most important thing for a player is when you gain the respect of your teammates,” added the boss.

“When your mates can rely on you on the pitch, you are in heaven. This is the most important thing by far.

“The players are not stupid. They smell everything on the pitch. They know who they can rely on on the pitch - and they can rely on him.”