How Man City should line up for the 2023-24 season: Phil Foden in midfield and Josko Gvardiol over Nathan Ake

Foden Gvardiol Guardiola GFXGetty/GOAL

Manchester City had pretty much the perfect season last time around as they swept to the treble. They chased down Arsenal to retain the Premier League, beat their greatest rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final and then, after one of the toughest games of the season, eventually saw off Inter to win the Champions League, the trophy they craved the most.

The only negative point was the fact that Phil Foden, the club's most treasured player, had only a bit-part role in the most crucial stage of the season. Fortunately for City, Foden had his say in the final in Istanbul when Kevin De Bruyne hobbled off with a hamstring injury.

It was Foden's twisting movements which helped prise Inter open for Rodri's decisive goal and the boy from Stockport almost grabbed another himself late in the game. It was a fairy-tale moment for a player who has spent almost his entire life with City.

Article continues below

But this season, Foden must be involved more often. He is simply too good, and, as one of the biggest success stories of the City academy, too great a club asset to remain on the bench. The Pep Guardiola-era has been a moveable feast, however, and Foden's best route back to a regular place in the team is by turning into a midfielder. And after Ilkay Gundogan's departure, the time is ripe for him to make the change and bring his goalscoring threat with him.

Elsewhere, it will be fascinating to see how new signing Josko Gvardiol fits into the team after his £77 million ($98m) move from RB Leipzig and how Mateo Kovacic adapts to his new surroundings after switching from Chelsea.

Here, GOAL picks Man City's best starting XI for the new season, adopting a 3-2-4-1 formation...