Player ratings for Manchester City’s 2023-24 Premier League title winners

<span>Captain <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Kyle Walker;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Kyle Walker</a> holds the Premier League trophy as <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Manchester City;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Manchester City</a> celebrate an unprecedented fourth straight title. <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Rodri;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Rodri</a>, <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Phil Foden;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Phil Foden</a> and <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Erling Haaland;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Erling Haaland</a> were among the club’s most impressive performers throughout the season.</span><span>Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian</span>


The 6ft 2in goalkeeper was Rodri-like in his laser-directed passing and if he coughed up a single goal-costing error it vanished from this observer’s mind. His season ended with the eye-socket injury sustained in last Tuesday’s vital 2-0 win at Tottenham so missed Sunday’s 3-1 championship-clinching victory over West Ham. 9

Stefan Ortega

Receives his score, despite only five starts and four substitute appearances, for how brilliant he was, particularly having to come on those four times to replace Ederson, a quaint statistic given how rarely any No 1 has an in-game injury. The German may depart in the summer but he will always have his Son Heung-min 86th-minute moment: saving vitally as the Tottenham forward raced in, to retain City’s lead. 8

Kyle Walker

After personal issues almost caused the defender to move to Bayern Munich last summer, the 33-year-old remained, was voted the successor to Ilkay Gündogan as captain and made 30 starts, eight more than last season. As his manager memorably said, Walker “remains the fastest man in the room” and is technically accomplished too. 9

Rico Lewis

Eight starts is two down on the youngster’s breakthrough season of last term, puzzling perhaps after Pep Guardiola eulogised about Lewis’s impact on the three-peat team. His two goals, though, were two more than in 2022-23, coming in the home and away games against Crystal Palace. Always a smooth operative. 7

John Stones

A season certainly not in the wilderness but in the treatment room and on the bench for the Barnsley Beckenbauer, who started 12 times, entering on four occasions as a substitute. As with the absences of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, one more indicator that injuries did not derail the title defence. 7

Manuel Akanji

The Swiss defender who often, in accomplished fashion, wanders upfield to make an extra midfielder does have a mistake in him, as at Spurs when his fluffed control allowed Son to run in. The South Korean missed – or Ortega saved, take your pick – and Akanji and City breathed again. 8

Rúben Dias

The “second captain” of the backline made five more starts (28) than in the treble campaign and at 27 is a Rolls-Royce of a defender whose cute positional play and love of defending are his finest gears. The high backline Guardiola demands can expose a lack of pace, though. 8

Nathan Aké

Seamlessly switching between left centre-back and left-back makes the Dutchman a priceless option and he was flawless. Two goals were one more than last season, though these were in 5-1 (Fulham) and 6-1 (Bournemouth) wins so hardly big-game strikes. 8

Josko Gvardiol

City’s defender of the season, whose technical ability and sharpshooting prowess may elevate him even more when, next term, he has a year under Guardiola to draw upon. Scored five goals in eight matches before the West Ham victory after zero in his previous 32. 9

Sergio Gómez

Zero starts and six substitute appearances for a total 47 minutes is a disappointment for the Spaniard whom Guardiola, evidently, does not overly trust. 5


Simply the best holding midfielder in the league, the Spaniard improves his mark by 0.5 from 12 months ago to make the perfect 10 after doing what this writer suggested he should: score more, his eight goals being six more than last season. The last came when it truly mattered: City’s third to soothe nerves against West Ham. 10

Mateo Kovacic

Can understudy Rodri as the holder or operate in the midfield berth ahead of that and has, unlike Kalvin Phillips, the manager’s belief for a game less slick than Rodri’s. At £25m from Chelsea last summer, he is one more illustration of how shrewd the Guardiola-Txiki Begiristain axis is in the market. 8

Matheus Nunes

Seven starts and 10 entries from the bench illuminate how he is being schooled by Guardiola. If the Portuguese can be a strawweight presence, he has the touch and cleverness to become a force in 2024-25. 6

Kalvin Phillips

His transfer from Leeds to City two summers ago has, now, to be classified as a disaster after the second half of the campaign was spent on loan at West Ham. Phillips has lost his England squad place, too, and at 28 will surely look for a move. Four substitute appearances. 4

Kevin De Bruyne

From 23 minutes into the opening Friday at Burnley until the 69th minute of 13 January at Newcastle, the sublime Belgian was ruled out with a serious hamstring problem, but he still ended with 10 assists. Five minutes after entering at St James’ Park, De Bruyne scored. In the 91st minute, one of his geometry-redefining assists put Oscar Bobb in for the winner in a precious 3-2 victory. 9

Bernardo Silva

Twenty-nine starts and six goals to 24 and four last term, from the man who, Guardiola says, makes him feel safe when on the pitch. The 29-year-old is a summer perennial of a will-he-stay-or-will-he-go debate, Barcelona usually his suitor. Maybe this year he departs, though City will hope to persuade him again to remain. 9

Jack Grealish

This has to go down as a season of stasis for the effervescent winger, though his 20 appearances and three goals (a drop of eight and two from last term) can be traced to injuries including a dead leg and a groin problem. The rosier news is that Guardiola rates him as a big-game player who can execute his plan and turn it on when fully fit and flying. 7

Phil Foden

His two goals in the win on Sunday that sealed the four-peat summed up the season of the 23-year-old’s life. Two minutes in came a sliced forehand of a left-foot shot that kissed the side-netting and was followed by a second steered home on 18 minutes. Both goals carried the element the lad from Stockport graced City with all term: poise. 10

Oscar Bobb

The Norwegian will never forget his winner at Newcastle as he swooped on De Bruyne’s flicked through-pass, soft-shoe-shuffled the ball between feet, and struck. After 14 appearances for 291 minutes, Bobb appears to have the pace, trickery and spatial awareness Guardiola demands from a forward to become a squad fixture, at least. 7

Julián Álvarez

Only Ederson, Foden, De Bruyne and Rodri made more than his 31 starts, as the versatile Argentinian filled in for De Bruyne at No 10 and Erling Haaland at No 9 when each went down for prolonged periods. Eleven league goals is not prolific yet Guardiola praised him after the championship was sealed. “We were without Haaland for many months – Julián did an amazing job,” he said. 9

Erling Haaland

Another maximum-rated season for the cut-throat dude before goal. Why: because despite missing five games (10 December-31 January) Haaland ended as the Golden Boot winner with 27 goals in 29 starts, another phenomenal return after the 36 of his debut season. He also plays with an infectious grin that lights up matchdays. 10

Jérémy Doku

The £55.5m spent to buy the winger from Rennes last August is one more in the array of bargains landed by City, and his selection to face West Ham on Sunday illustrated the force he is as Doku’s speed and ball control constantly tore through the visitors. 9

Aymeric Laporte

One game as a subsititute before joining Al-Nassr. 5

James McAtee

One appearance before being loaned to Sheffield United. 5

Cole Palmer

Palmer and City may rue his decision to leave for Chelsea because his 22 goals in 33 appearances for the dark blues might have come in the sky blue livery in the title win. 6