Pep Guardiola stated that Manchester City’s “new generation is coming” after three graduates of the club’s youth program stood out in the European champions’ 2-0 victory against Bayern Munich on Wednesday during their pre-season tour in Japan.
James McAtee, who spent the previous season on loan at Championship side Sheffield United, where he made 37 appearances and scored nine times to help the club gain promotion to the Premier League, opened the scoring for City in the 21st minute in Tokyo. McAtee had spent the previous season making 37 appearances and contributing to the club’s promotion to the Premier League.
After coming in as a second-half replacement in the game that they won 2-1, another rookie named Oscar Bobb shown glimpses of the potential he has as a player.
However, Rico Lewis was the player who stood out the most, as he consistently caused Bayern difficulties moving forward and did not shy away from his defensive responsibilities in the center of the park.
After the match, while speaking to the media present, Guardiola said that the 18-year-old Lewis was “so smart, so intelligent.”
“He understands everything and is reliable in many, many things,” he said of the player who participated in 14 Premier League games during the previous season. “He understands everything and is reliable in many, many things.”
“We are really, really pleased that a player from the academy came up and is playing the way he is playing.”
Guardiola, who was himself a product of the illustrious La Masia youth program in Barcelona, acknowledged his satisfaction with the kind of players that City were turning out at the time and said, “the new generation is coming.”
Additionally, Guardiola lauded the manner in which the academy was contributing to the financial success of City, noting that “we sell a lot, with a buy-back clause (normally)” in most of the contracts.
“So just for the academy in two transfer windows here 80 million pounds ($103.3 million), or 85 millions pounds, is just unbelievable,” he added. “So just for the academy in two transfer windows here 80 million pounds”
“I have a strong feeling that one or more of them, maybe in the not-too-distant future, will come back to be with us here. So, sure, I couldn’t be happier.”
When asked further questions regarding Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel’s club’s pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane, reporters were met with the response, “I have nothing to hide.”
“I’m looking for a player because we have a lot of injured players, and we have a difficult situation,” Tuchel said. “I’m looking for a player because we have a lot of injured players.”
“However, with that being said, we made a lot of opportunities today, and I think we did well in terms of how to build the match.”
Aymeric Laporte scored the game-winning goal for City in the 86th minute, five minutes after Mathys Tel had drawn Bayern Munich level.
After that, City will face Atletico Madrid in a match that will take place in Seoul on Sunday. Afterwards, they will go back to England for the Community Shield match against Arsenal.
After playing one more match in Tokyo on Saturday against Kawasaki Frontale of the J-League, Bayern will leave for Singapore to take on Liverpool. Kawasaki Frontale is a team from the J-League.