Manchester City and Arsenal dominate Premier League team of the season

City won their fourth successive title on Sunday and were chased all the way by the Gunners

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The 2023/24 Premier League season wrapped on Sunday evening and despite the title race going down to the final day, there was a familiar outcome as Manchester City sealed a record fourth successive trophy.

Here is our Premier League team of the season (formation: 3-1-2-3-1).

GK: Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Only David Raya behind the best defence in the league kept more clean sheets than Everton's Pickford this season. Yet, unlike Raya, Pickford was kept very busy by an Everton side who were plummeting towards the relegation zone amid the wider chaos at the club and its points deductions.

That the Toffees stopped the rot to finish the season relatively well was largely down to their goalkeeper's heroics, highlighted by his star turn to beat Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.

England will hope Pickford can carry his excellent season in to the European Championships in Germany.

DF: William Saliba (Arsenal)

Saliba's injury absence towards the end of last season was a key factor in Arsenal's fading title challenge, so it was no coincidence the Gunners pushed City to the final day with the Frenchman ever-present.

Saliba was the standout defender of the season, forming an unbreakable partnership with Gabriel to build a defensive foundation that limited Arsenal to a league-leading 29 goals conceded.

Still only 23 but undoubtedly a leader of this Arsenal team, Saliba will go from strength to strength and could become a Premier League great - so long as a European superclub doesn't prize him away.

DF: Gabriel (Arsenal)

At the start of the season, Gabriel's Arsenal future appeared uncertain. He didn't start the first three Premier League games and there were rumours of a move to either Real Madrid or Saudi Arabia.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was experimenting with a tactical tweak but once new signing Jurrien Timber went down early with a season-ending injury, Gabriel returned to the side and never looked back.

The Brazilian was superb alongside Saliba, and the pair could become the next great Premier League centre-back partnership if it stays together.

DF: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

It was a season that promised much but only delivered a League Cup for Liverpool, whose title challenge faded in the final month. That there was a title challenge (and indeed a trophy) at all can be largely attributed to their exceptional Dutch defender.

As Liverpool suffered from several injuries to their defence, Van Dijk stood tall throughout, providing his leadership and brilliance to an ever-changing backline.

The club's captain will have another major role to play next season when the Reds enter the post-Jurgen Klopp era.

DM: Rodri (Manchester City)

The best defensive midfielder in the world continued being just that in another history-making season for City. In the constantly evolving systems of Pep Guardiola, Rodri is an essential component, providing defensive stability, passing range, athleticism, and important goals to help City dominate almost every game.

To get a sense of the Spaniard's importance, he was unbeaten in the Premier League this season, winning 27 games and drawing seven. Of the four matches he missed, City lost three.

CM: Declan Rice (Arsenal)

An absolute home run of a signing when Arsenal spent £100 million last summer to recruit Rice from West Ham. The England international was immense from the get-go, bringing more dynamism and balance to the Arsenal midfield while chipping in with some big goals, too.

Rice elevated his own game and Arsenal to a new level this season, and as the Gunners aim to go again in 2024/25, he will be vital if they are to end their 21-year wait for the title.

CM: Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)

Not as prolific this season but no less influential, Odegaard was Arsenal's consistently brilliant captain during their sustained title challenge. Contributed to 18 goals (eight scored, 10 assisted) while ranking third in the Premier League for chances created.

The Norwegian combines innovation with industry to be arguably the most complete midfielder in the league, and at 25 should just be entering his prime years.

RW: Cole Palmer (Chelsea)

For all the mess engulfing Chelsea during the early part of the season, one shining light emerged. Palmer quickly lived up to his promise by scoring goals and creating assists, and before long he couldn't stop.

At one stage, the winger was level with Erling Haaland in the race for the Golden Boot while also featuring near the top of the assists standings, too. Palmer ended the season with 33 goal involvements, scoring 22 and assisting 11 - not bad for his full debut season.

Chelsea eventually caught up with their star player to end the season strong and gain a place in Europe, but were it not for Palmer they would have been dead and buried long before the run-in.

AM: Phil Foden (Manchester City)

The season Foden went from a top talent to an undroppable world-class player. In the injury absence of Kevin De Bruyne and with Haaland not quite at his lethal best, Foden stepped up to lead City through his performances and goals.

Smashed his previous season-best by scoring 19 goals while also providing eight assists on his way to being named the Premier League Player of the Year.

The task now falls on England manager Gareth Southgate, who needs to make Foden a central part of his plans at the Euros this summer. How he utilises the City star could be the difference between success and disappointment in Germany.

LW: Anthony Gordon (Newcastle)

The England winger excelled in his first full season at Newcastle and took his game to an entirely new level. Gordon broke double figures for goals for the first time with 11 while also providing 10 assists for 21 goal involvements.

Alongside the brilliant Alexander Isak, Gordon became an integral part of Newcastle's attack and has transformed his potential into becoming a top-level Premier League player.

CF: Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)

There was plenty of competition for the centre-forward role in this team. Haaland was a leading candidate for his league-leading 27 goals, while Isak was exceptional for Newcastle, and Dominic Solanke had his best season for Bournemouth.

But the nod goes to Watkins for his complete role in guiding Aston Villa back to the Champions League for the first time in 41 years (when it was still the European Cup). The England striker scored 19 goals and topped the assists chart with 13, ensuring 32 goal involvements for a stellar season.

Watkins and Villa can now look forward to testing themselves against Europe's best.

Updated: May 20, 2024, 10:23 AM