Rico Lewis new contract: Why Man City have handed him a five year deal

Manchester City have made some significant strides forward this summer in terms of the long-term future of their defence. They’ve brought in 21 year old centre-back Josko Gvardiol and have now announced Rico Lewis’ new contract which ties the teenager down at the Etihad for the next five years.

Born in Greater Manchester, Lewis is an academy graduate having been on City’s books for a decade already, progressing through the youth ranks. He made his Premier League debut last August, coming on as a substitute for Kyle Walker in the win over Bournemouth and would go on to be a useful option for Pep Guardiola during the club’s historic treble winning season.

Lewis went on to make 10 Premier League starts last term and will be a source of inspiration for academy players at a club where it can be very difficult to progress into the first team ranks given the strength of Manchester City’s squad. The young full-back joins the likes of Phil Foden and Cole Palmer in having made that leap in recent years with Guardiola happy to incorporate young academy graduates if he sees potential in them.

Rico Lewis new contract: The details


It’s clear that Manchester City are excited by Rico Lewis’ potential and it’s no surprise given the progress he made during the 2022/23 season that a new long-term contract has been penned. The deal will run until June 2028 when Lewis will still only be 23 years old.

The teenager was reportedly earning around £5,000 per week last season and was in line for a more than 400% pay rise taking his earnings to something in the region of £25,000 per week. That would still make him one of the lowest earners in the Manchester City first team squad but it’s clearly a very healthy wage for an 18 year old.

Although his previous contract was only until next summer, there was little suggestion that Lewis’ future at the club was in doubt. He has clearly enjoyed a dream twelve months going from being captain of Manchester City’s Under-18 team to being a Premier League and Champions League winner. The youngster will now look to kick on this season and push senior players like Walker for a more regular starting role.

Why Man City rate him so highly

Given many of City’s critics accuse them of merely buying success, the club’s hierarchy will view the development of homegrown players like Rico Lewis as clear evidence that there is far more to it than that. The City academy is one of the best in England and it is really starting to bear fruit now with Lewis the latest to be testament to its success.

“Rico is a really intelligent footballer and is already a mature and reliable member of the squad” said City's director of football Txiki Begiristain after tying down Lewis to a new deal.

It’s certainly impressive how easily he appears to have adapted to elite level football with Lewis having never even been loaned out to another club to gain experience. His natural talent is clear and the teenager ranks well when it comes to ball progression and his ability to drive forwards into space.

What’s unclear at this stage is Lewis’ best position. He is mostly viewed as a right back but has the ability to operate on either flank and started Manchester City’s Premier League opener against Burnley last week at left back.

With the City boss at times using a new 3-2-4-1 system to great success last season, Lewis has also been deployed in a holding midfield role and that could be something we see more of this season.