Twenty-four hours later, the duo were hopping out of a car at St George&aposs Park for their first-ever senior England call-up. Maybe they had wind of their imminent call-ups on the pitch at Chelsea. Palmer, at least, thought his post-match text was a &aposblag&apos – Lewis was typically calmer on arrival to his first senior squad.
The aftermath of the 4-4 classic has fairly focussed on Palmer&aposs fine start to life at Chelsea and City&aposs decision to sell him. There&aposs every chance that the talk will be back to Lewis after the international break.
With injuries taking hold of the England squad, Lewis can look at fixtures against Malta and North Macedonia and fancy his chances of a senior international debut. Promoted from the under-21s, he was listed as a midfielder in their squad list last week, but the amended senior squad list has Lewis down as a defender.
Gareth Southgate likes to play players in the positions they play for their clubs, rather than change their roles for England – as Phil Foden has found out – but with Lewis he is equally as adept playing at right-back or in midfield – or both.
In defence, there is no left-back in the squad and Lewis has played there for City, while he could be first back-up to Kyle Walker on the right if Kieran Trippier continues on the left (let&aposs ignore that he doesn&apost play there for his club). In midfield, with Jude Bellingham and James Maddison injured, and Kalvin Phillips arriving later, Lewis has a chance to persuade Southgate he is worthy of playing time ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Gallagher, Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice and Palmer.
There should be minutes available for Lewis if he proves he can fill a spot in the squad, and his versatility could be a useful weapon – especially with Euro 2024 on the horizon and no fit, natural left-back. At the very least, he can certainly make a case to Southgate that he should be in the March squad next time out.
Just like he did at City, Lewis has effectively bypassed the under-21s and jumped straight from youth football to senior. After being a regular for the City under-18s in the 2021/22 season, he made just ten appearances for the under-21s before earning a call-up to the first team tour of the US that summer at the recommendation of coach Carlos Vicens.
He clearly made an impact – and smashed the post against Bayern Munich in a stormy Green Bay – to remain with the senior team last season and he hasn&apost looked back. For England, he only has four under-21 caps, having been left out of their summer Euros tournament to get some much-needed rest after his exploits with City. After all, he will still be eligible for more under-21 tournaments in the next three years.