Best XI of 2023-24 PL season ft. Haaland, Palmer, Foden, and Saliba

unnamed   2024 05 24T175312.944
Manchester City’s dominance continues in the Premier League

The 2023-24 Premier League season has finally come to an end, with Manchester City notching their 4th title in a row, a historic new record. On the other hand, Luton Town, Burnley and Sheffield United suffered the ignominy of relegation. 

Arsenal and the Cityzens fought out for glory till the last matchday, but it was Pep Guardiola who had the last laugh again. There were standout performers, as one would expect throughout the season and we had quite a tough time picking a Team of the Season. However, we still gave it a shot and here’s what we came up with:

Goalkeeper: David Raya (Arsenal)

The first Arsenal player to win the Premier League Golden Glove since Petr Cech in 2015-16 is the custodian we have chosen at the back. With 16 clean sheets throughout the season, the loanie from Brentford has certainly delivered for Mikel Arteta who had the extremely difficult task of finding a suitable backup for Aaron Ramsdale. 

However, with 40 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions and by becoming only the third Spaniard after David de Gea and Pepe Reina to claim the coveted Golden Glove, David Raya is certain to continue to be the #1 pick for the Londoners.

Defenders: Ben White (Arsenal), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), William Saliba (Arsenal), Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City)

Another stand-out performer for the runners-up this season was Ben White, whose versatility helped him not only pick up 8 goal contributions but make himself an unmissable name at the back for Arteta.

There is no doubt that England will miss him heavily at Euro 2024, but some opine that his brilliant form has been down to the fact that he has decided to make himself unavailable for international duty.

Konsa has been a monster at the back for Villa

At the heart of Aston Villa’s remarkable 4th-placed finish was Ezri Konsa, the English central defender who has the highest percentage success rate of dribblers tackled of any player this season at 87 per cent. He also played the most minutes of any player in the league in 2023 – a testament to his fitness and commitment under the watchful eyes of Unai Emery.

The 26-year old has turned heads with his confidence and abilities on the ball, and one can be certain he will continue to impress in the near future.

Another class act who was integral to the Gunners pushing the title challenge to the final day, William Saliba ranks second amongst most possessions won in the league by defenders. He made history for the club in their last game which was a 2-1 win over Everton by becoming the first outfield player in the club’s stellar Premier League history to play every minute of the season.

Josko Gvardiol, who was naturally a central defender but has rediscovered himself as a goalscoring fullback, was one of the key cogs of the Manchester City machine. With 5 goals and 3 assists to his name across all competitions, the 22-year old has demonstrated himself to be one of the best in the world.

Midfielders: Rodri (Manchester City), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

An indispensable asset to Manchester City, Rodri’s influence on the team is best defined by this stat – he is yet to lose a game that he has started in across all competitions over the last 2 seasons. The 3 losses the Sky Blues have suffered in the league have all come in Rodri’s absence, which again shows why he is considered the best in the world at his position.

Operating as both a #6 and #8 this season, Declan Rice is easily one of the transfers of the season and his numbers prove just that. With 7 goals and 9 assists to his name, the Englishman seamlessly slots into both attack and defense and offers Arteta flexibility like no other. The Rice-Odegaard-Saka combo for the Gunners was a delight to watch and a major reason why they ended up scoring a mind-boggling 91 goals this season.

Imagine being a 23-year-old with 6 Premier League titles to your name – that’s what Phil Foden has achieved. With 17 goals and 8 assists to his name, he also won the Premier League Player of the Season award which was nothing short of being well-deserved. He arguably also has the best first touch in the league, which makes him all the more exciting to watch.

With 33 goal contributions to his name, the delightful Cole Palmer etched his name into record books and was instrumental in Chelsea finishing above Manchester United and Newcastle United this year, especially given how horrendously they began the season. With 22 goals to his name, the 22-year old also came second in the race for the Golden Boot as well.

Strikers: Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

A key engineer behind Aston Villa returning to Europe’s premier competition after 42 long years, Ollie Watkins bagged 19 goals and 13 assists in 37 Premier League games in the 2023-24 PL season. 

From hovering above the relegation zone to finding themselves jostling with the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, the Englishman’s work rate and selflessness this season ensured himself a seat on England’s flight to Germany for Euro 2024.

Haaland won the Premier League Golden Boot yet again

The Premier League Golden Boot winner for the second season in a row with 27 strikes to his name, Erling Haaland may have failed to live up to his astronomically high standards from the 2022-23 PL season but even then he was easily one of the best forwards in Europe once again. 

With 5 assists as well to his credit, the Norwegian will now be eyeing a double with a win over rivals Manchester United in the upcoming FA Cup final.

Substitutes: Ederson, Manuel Akanji, Diogo Dalot, Bruno Guimaraes, Martin Odegaard; Bruno Fernandes, Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz, Heung min Son

The substitute’s bench boasts of a who’s who of superstars with Martin Odegaard and Kai Havertz being arguably the most red-hot properties. The former was the metronome in the Gunners’ midfield, notching 18 goal contributions in the Premier League while the latter had a career revival this season – bagging 13 goals in the league for the Londoners.