Home » Man City’s Rico Lewis ‘to make full England debut against North Macedonia’

Man City’s Rico Lewis ‘to make full England debut against North Macedonia’

Manchester City teenager Rico Lewis is reportedly set to make his full debut for England against North Macedonia following Kieran Trippier’s withdrawal.

Manchester City defender Rico Lewis will make his full debut for England in Monday’s Euro 2024 qualifier against North Macedonia, according to a report.

Following the withdrawals of James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk, 18-year-old Lewis was one of three new faces called up to the senior squad for the first time this month alongside Ezri Konsa and Cole Palmer.

Lewis was an unused substitute in Friday’s 2-0 victory over Malta in Group C, where an Enrico Pepe own goal and Harry Kane strike put England on the brink of sealing a spot in Pot 1 for the group-stage draw.

There is one more place up for grabs in the coveted pot alongside France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and hosts Germany, with England battling Denmark and Turkey for the right to enter the draw as one of the top seeds.

The Three Lions have taken 19 points from 21 on offer in Group C and only need to draw on Monday night to ensure a place in Pot 1, but Gareth Southgate has been dealt another two untimely selection blows.

© Reuters

As well as losing Jarrod Bowen to a knee problem, England will be without Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier, who departed the camp for personal reasons over the weekend.

Kyle Walker is a like-for-like swap on the right-hand side of defence, but Trippier’s absence further weakens England’s already-decimated full-back ranks, as Levi Colwill, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw and Ben White are all absent for various reasons.

According to the Daily Mail, Trippier was expected to be given the nod at left-back on Monday night by Southgate, who deployed Fikayo Tomori in that rule during the win over Malta.

However, with Trippier now unavailable, Man City starlet Lewis is now primed to win his first senior cap for England as a starter, the day before he celebrates his 19th birthday.

Lewis will become just the 20th player to make his senior England debut before turning 19, and the first since Jude Bellingham, who was 17 years and 136 days old when he won his first cap in November 2020.

Manchester City's Rico Lewis in action with RB Leipzig's Nicolas Seiwald on October 4, 2023© Reuters

The 2004-born defender has represented his nation from Under-16 level and only made his first appearance for the Under-21s in March, playing four matches for the Young Lions under Lee Carsley.

However, Lewis is now set to make the step-up to senior international football on account of his eye-catching progression with Man City, whom he has already played 33 times for since making his debut in August 2022.

The teenager has scored one goal and set up two more for Pep Guardiola‘s side in that time, with both of those assists coming in a pair of Champions League wins over RB Leipzig and Young Boys this season.

Lewis has played as a right-back, left-back and central midfielder for Man City during the early stages of the 2023-24 season, starting in a 3-0 Premier League win over Burnley in August on the left-hand side of the backline.

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