Top 5 Manchester City players of the 2021/22 season

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Top 5 Manchester City players of the 2021/22 season

Manchester City recently crashed out in the most incredible of ways to a resilient Real Madrid side in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. 
However, the English champions have the Premier League to focus on as the race for the title heats up towards the end of the season. City do look in control to win the title thanks to all the excellent work done by their players during the season. 
The following is a list of players who have heavily contributed to their team’s success this season and are my top 5 Manchester City players of the 2021/22 season. 

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1. Kevin De Bruyne

Top 5 Manchester City players of the 2021/22 season - 1. Kevin De Bruyne

It isn’t easy to pick the best of the lot in a team filled with players who perform their roles to near perfection. Kevin De Bruyne, though, can easily be regarded as one of the best Manchester City players this season. 

De Bruyne has scored fifteen goals and provided seven assists so far in the Premier League. He may not be adding to his tally of two goals and three assists in the Champions League because of City’s dramatic loss to Real Madrid, but over the course of the last season, he has created more shot-creating chances than any midfielder in Europe and has the most non-penalty goals as well. 

De Bruyne is not just a passing genius; he also finds himself in positions from which he can score. He averages over four touches in the opposition box per 90’. 

2. Riyad Mahrez

2. Riyad Mahrez

It can be argued that this has been Mahrez’s best-ever season in a City shirt. He has looked a threat on the right-hand side throughout the season. 

The goals have flown in for the Algerian winger: eleven in the Premier League and seven in the Champions League, including the latest one against Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final. Mahrez also has five assists in the Premier League and two in the Champions League. 

Mahrez loves to cut onto his left foot and let fly, resulting in a healthy number of attempts per game. He averages over three attempts per game while also averaging over seven touches in the opposition box per game, a stat backing his ability to move into attacking positions. 

3. João Cancelo

3. João Cancelo

There probably is not a player who provides Pep Guardiola with the amount of flexibility that Cancelo does. On numerous occasions this season, the Portuguese defender has stepped in at left-back for City, allowing the manager to fit Kyle Walker, another equally capable fullback, on the right. 

Cancelo has three goals this season, including an absolute screamer he scored against Newcastle United. He has provided seven assists in the Premier League and three in the Champions League. He tops the charts for progressive passes among fullbacks across Europe, with an average of over seven per game. He is truly an attack-minded fullback who loves to carry the ball. He tops the charts for progressive carries as well among fullbacks, averaging over nine progressive carries per game.

4. Gabriel Jesus

4. Gabriel Jesus

A player who is not widely regarded as a top player at Manchester City and one who is likely to move on in the summer, Gabriel Jesus has undoubtedly helped his cause in terms of receiving offers from clubs across Europe given his recent performances for City. 

In the Premier League, Jesus has netted eight goals to go with his eight assists. This includes his brilliant performance against Leeds United, during which he scored all four goals for his side. Jesus not only plays as a striker but can also play out wide, allowing his manager to mix things up. 

Jesus is not only a player who works hard and scores goals but is also quite effective in driving with the ball. He averages over seven progressive carries per game, justifying his role out wide. 

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5. Phil Foden

Top Manchester City players 2021/22 season - 5. Phil Foden

Manchester City have quite a few players who can take the fifth spot on this list of top players of the 2021/22 season. Raheem Sterling or Bernardo Silva could have easily been included. However, given that Foden is just 21 years old and is Guardiola’s starter in the Champions League goes to show the ability he possesses. 

This season, Foden has scored nine goals in the Premier League and three in the Champions League. His stats do not match that of his fellow wingers in terms of dribbles and progressive passes, and a significant reason for this shortcoming is due to the manner in which his manager utilises him. Often, Foden is deployed as a false-nine, hence, not given the amount of space provided to a winger. However, this season, Foden has played multiple roles, including playing out wide and in midfield. 

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