‘Imperious campaign’ – player ratings for Manchester City’s title winners

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Ederson – 8

The epitome of the modern goalkeeper, his passing is more important than his shot-stopping for Pep Guardiola. The Brazilian even managed an assist for Ilkay Gündogan in the win over Spurs. His 18 clean sheets should not be glossed over, as they offer proof of City’s new-found rigidity.

Another good season for Ederson.
Another good season for Ederson. Photograph: Michael Regan/EPA

Zack Steffen – 6

Enjoyed a watching brief for the majority of his 90 minutes of Premier League action in the victory at Chelsea. Successfully saw off the challenge of Scott Carson to be second choice.

Related: Manchester City win the Premier League after United lose to Leicester

João Cancelo – 8

One of the revelations of the season, he could have been picking up individual gongs at the end of the campaign were it not for the form of teammates. The Portuguese finally looks settled after underwhelming last season, helping to redefine the full-back role as he repeatedly steps into midfield to help attacks.

Kyle Walker – 7

The England international occasionally suffers lapses in concentration, resulting in Roy Keane calling him “an idiot” after an error against Liverpool. Overall, however, he has enjoyed his most consistent season in blue thanks to his intelligence and speed at full-back, even scoring the winner against boyhood club Sheffield United.

John Stones – 9

Many people had written off the defender, thinking his City career was over. He made the most of the early failings at the back to form a fine partnership with Rúben Dias, which saw them concede four times in their first 17 games together and create the rock previously lacking at City. Also scored five vital goals.

Aymeric Laporte – 7

Lost his place after a disappointing defeat at Tottenham in November as he was repeatedly caught out when the opposition broke, exposing his positioning and lack of pace. Has looked more comfortable in recent months, not losing a league match he has featured in since that night in north London.

Rúben Dias – 10

Changed the direction of the season after City splashed out on the £63m defender following a home mauling by Leicester. He slotted in with ease, and his leadership and composure transformed a fragile team into an imperious one. He turns 24 on Friday and is earmarked as a future City captain.

Nathan Aké – 5

Injury has cost the defender most of his first season at the Etihad, much to his frustration after so much was spent to bring him to the club. It was hoped his versatility would be a great asset to Guardiola but he has managed only nine league appearances.

Related: Manchester City’s title is a triumph of class and refinement on the hoof | Barney Ronay

Eric García – 4

Struggled to get a look-in because of Guardiola’s lack of interest in utilising the defender after he turned down a new deal with the intention of returning to Barcelona for nothing in the summer. He offered so much promise but departs without reaching his potential.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7

Gave much-needed balance in defence when brought in to fill the tricky left-back slot. Not a natural defender but he has adapted well, offering a threat going forward and resilience when defending, although has never convinced he can be a mainstay.

Benjamin Mendy – 5

Unpredictable and inconsistent in equal measure again. Guardiola has sought a number of other options to avoid picking the Frenchman. Mendy is excellent at his best but those days are few and far between owing to a lack of concentration, a cardinal sin for a defender.

Rodri – 8

Guardiola has accepted the midfielder’s limitations after trying to make him do things he was incapable of last season. Rodri keeps it very simple in front of the defence, providing a shield by himself – whereas previously he needed support – and allowing greater freedom for teammates going forward by doing the hard work at the base of midfield.

Ilkay Gündogan – 10

Ilkay Gundogan.
Ilkay Gündogan has thrived in a more advanced role. Photograph: Tim Keeton/AFP/Getty Images

Twelve goals in 26 games is the key indicator of how important the midfielder has been for a team regularly playing without a striker. Gündogan is operating in a more advanced role, providing a calm head in the final third. The quiet man has the respect of all within the club, proved by being elected to the team’s five-man leadership group.

Fernandinho – 7

Used more sparingly but the legs are holding up and his tactical fouls are a joy to behold in a team previously susceptible to being dissected by opposition midfielders. The Brazilian deserves another season but whether he will get one remains to be seen.

Related: Leicester’s vital victory over young Manchester United hands title to City

Raheem Sterling – 7

By his high standards this season has been a disappointment despite a fine start. A lack of form resulted in time out of the starting lineup and he has looked devoid of confidence, resulting in his bad traits coming to the fore, such as overthinking at key moments.

Riyad Mahrez – 8

Guardiola always turns to the Algerian for big games, a sign of how highly regarded the winger has become. He has improved in the final months, to such an extent Sterling is his understudy. Mahrez has turned cutting inside from the right and curling a shot into the bottom corner into an art form.

Riyad Mahrez.
Riyad Mahrez is always selected on the big occasions. Photograph: Michael Regan/AFP/Getty Images

Phil Foden – 9

The local hero has flourished, justifying Guardiola’s patient approach when it came to integrating him. The touches, dribbling and goals by the lad from Stockport have indicated City possess a player who can keep them at the top for the next decade, much to the fans’ delight.

Kevin De Bruyne – 9

Another imperious campaign in the centre of midfield, always lifting the team in tight games to drag them to three points. There will be a challenge to pick out his best assist of the season, although his delicious cross for Dias against West Ham might just pip the other 10.

Bernardo Silva – 7

Nowhere near his best in the early stages but stepped up when De Bruyne missed a month from the end of January to ensure the Belgian’s absence did not cause City’s charge to the title to stall at a crucial stage. Will be disappointed to have scored only twice.

Ferran Torres – 6

Looked a bargain early in the season after quickly finding his feet following his £21m move from Valencia. Rotation within the forwards, however, has meant the Spanish winger has been unable to cement a place and has looked more effective in Europe than in the Premier League.

Sergio Agüero – 5

One penalty and one goal from open play in 11 appearances is the result of illness and injury which have seen him spend more time in the stands than on the pitch. He will leave as a legend but his final season may well provide only one clip for the farewell montage.

Gabriel Jesus – 6

With Agüero’s powers waning, there have been plenty of chances for the Brazilian to fill his boots but he has lacked composure in front of goal. Guardiola has often preferred to operate without a striker, which is a bad sign for Jesus, who may be more suited to being a winger than a No 9 in the long term.

Liam Delap – 6

Made a cameo appearance in the home defeat by Leicester which offered little indication of his career prospects.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting