Players must have started at least one Premier League match this season to be in contention.
21. Fabian Delph: The 29-year-old played a crucial role during last year’s historic 100-point campaign, but his skills as an inverted left-back were seldom on display this season. Delph made only eight league starts and was overtaken on the depth chart by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
20. Nicolas Otamendi: Pep Guardiola clearly didn’t trust the rash Argentine center-back when it mattered; Otamendi’s last Premier League start of the season came in March. Given his propensity for poorly timed tackles, it was probably for the best.
19. Phil Foden: The future is very bright for the 18-year-old, but for now, Foden is a footnote in this squad. His winning goal in a late-season showdown with Tottenham was pivotal, particularly as it came in the wake of City’s continental ouster against Spurs, but that was the extent of his contribution.
18. Benjamin Mendy: The left-back started the campaign strongly, assisting five times in his first six league outings. But, once again, Mendy’s season was hampered by a succession of injuries. If he’s kept on for next term, it may present his last chance to be a City regular.
17. Riyad Mahrez: His assist and goal on the Premier League’s closing day bought him patience from Manchester City fans, and the title win means many will now forget his penalty miss at Anfield early in the season. Mahrez will need to step it up in the 2019-20 campaign.
16. Gabriel Jesus: Sergio Aguero’s incredible form cut Jesus’ minutes in the first team. The 22-year-old still got a decent haul of seven goals despite starting only eight Premier League matches, but he will have to show clear improvements next season.
15. Danilo: The Brazilian ably stepped in during injury crises and when Kyle Walker’s form wasn’t so good. Danilo’s input during the penultimate game against Leicester City was also overlooked: he didn’t play a minute, but his rapid ball retrieval and directives from the touchline seemed crucial.
14. Kevin De Bruyne: The Premier League was denied regular contributions from one of its greatest players. De Bruyne’s injury record was unfortunate, but the odd fleeting appearance – like his two assists against Crystal Palace last month – offered reminders of just how good he is.
13. John Stones: The English defender, 24, was expected to solidify his role as a first-choice center-back this season, but Guardiola’s decision to entrust key late-season matches to Vincent Kompany showed that Stones still has work to do to establish himself atop the pecking order.
12. Kyle Walker: Struggles early in the season gave way to a solid, if unspectacular, conclusion to the campaign for the pacey right-back, who continues to be a constant presence in the City backline. Walker never reached the heights of last season, but he was once again a key contributor.
11. Leroy Sane: Despite making fewer starts – and total appearances – than he did last season, the flying German winger still hit double figures in both goals and assists, racking up 10 of each. Sane’s tally against Manchester United in late April, which secured a 2-0 derby win, was pivotal.
10. David Silva: Now 33, the silky Spaniard looks to be on the decline. But considering how absurdly high he’s set the bar over his Manchester City career, this version of David Silva is still one of the most enjoyable players in the league to watch.
9. Ilkay Gundogan: Has any player gone about his stellar business quieter than Gundogan? The composed midfielder was often the one who provided the decisive pass to carve open the opposition. His lovely free-kick against Brighton was a perfect way to cap the campaign.
8. Vincent Kompany: That goal. If Kompany’s influence at Manchester City was ever in doubt, Guardiola reinstalling him to his lineup in the final weeks was a clear demonstration of the respect the Belgian demands in Beswick. It seemed all of his frustrations stemming from long periods on the sidelines were taken out on the ball for his iconic strike against Leicester.
7. Oleksandr Zinchenko: The Ukrainian filled an area of need for his club. Injuries to Mendy and Delph greatly increased Zinchenko’s workload, and the youngster, who is an attacking midfielder by trade, shone at left-back with his high tactical intellect and work ethic.
6. Ederson: The common perception is that Alisson is a better goalkeeper – at least Brazil boss Tite thinks so – but Ederson certainly challenged that argument. He displayed elastic athleticism at times, but his ease at playing out from the back was a constant feature of the season and is the very foundation of Guardiola’s approach.
5. Sergio Aguero: Finally, it seems Aguero is considered among Premier League’s greatest-ever strikers. The Argentine has a knack of scoring important goals, netting 21 times across the whole campaign. He’s become a better all-round player under Guardiola.
4. Fernandinho: Supporters of other clubs may find Fernandinho’s tactical fouls hard to digest, but Manchester City supporters adore the Brazilian. He was one of the first players Guardiola highlighted for praise soon after his 2016 appointment and remains a vital member of the squad despite turning 34 last week.
3. Aymeric Laporte: Were it not for Virgil van Dijk, the coolheaded Laporte would be garnering praise as the best defender in the Premier League. No outfield player started more matches for City this season, and for good reason. That his thumping header against Brighton proved to be the title-clinching goal was a fitting conclusion to his outstanding campaign.
2. Bernardo Silva: Not only is Bernardo Silva arguably the hardest-working player in the league, his ability to drift past players, spearhead counter-attacks, and measure passes through the tiniest of gaps is phenomenal. He’s a thrilling watch and, worryingly for City’s rivals, he’s only 24.
1. Raheem Sterling: Van Dijk claimed the PFA Player of the Year prize, but Sterling was a very close second. In the space of nine months, the 24-year-old has gone from a scapegoat of England’s national team to undoubtedly the best player his country has to offer. His league campaign comprised of 17 goals, 10 assists, and, even more impressively, he seemed to add new facets to his game every week.