John Stones: 2023/24 Season Overview

John Stones: 2023/24 Season Overview
John Stones: 2023/24 Season Overview

John Stones might’ve hoped to feature more regularly across 2023/24, but his influence on another remarkable campaign remained as strong as ever.

A hip injury a few days after our Community Shield clash with Arsenal meant Stones was sidelined until October 2023.

But after two months out, the defender would return against the Gunners in an enthralling Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium, in which Pep Guardiola’s men deserved at least a share of the spoils but were undone by a late Gabriel Martinelli strike.

It was a tough pill to swallow but the sight of Stones back among the fold was certainly a welcome one, and an example of the incredible faith that the boss has in him to return in such a high stakes environment.

Indeed, Guardiola, Stones' team-mates and the City fans know that, across his eight seasons at the Club, the defender has consistently been a player who steps up to the occasion when we need him the most.

And it’s telling that one of his finest displays of the season came at one of the most famously difficult away grounds in English football – Anfield.

Liverpool’s title push may have tailed off in the final few months of the campaign but, in early March, the Premier League’s top three were separated by just a single point.

All eyes were on Merseyside, and Stones put in a standout display to help Guardiola’s men come away with a precious point.

The defender even opened the scoring with his only goal of the season, tapping home a clever near-post corner routine to stun the hosts, before using all of his experience to marshal the City back four after the hosts had equalised from the spot early in the second half.

WATCH: Extended highlights: Liverpool 1-1 City

Much has been made of Stones’ qualities in possession, but this can often overshadow just how good he actually is in defensive situations. The Liverpool fixture brought that ability to the fore.

In January 2024, the England international was recognised for his outstanding contributions once again with a spot in the FIFA FIFPRO World XI alongside five of his City peers.

That came just one month after Stones had started both of our FIFA Club World Cup fixtures en route to lifting the trophy for the first time.

In doing so, we became the first side in English football history to hold the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup – another piece of history that our number 5 can put his name to.


It can be easy to run out of superlatives to describe Stones’ ability on the ball, but his performance against Bournemouth in February 2024 exemplified it in remarkable fashion soon after that Club World Cup triumph.

While it’s now a common sight for the defender to pick up play in advanced areas and add an extra option in the midfield, the 30-year-old took this to new levels against the Cherries.

City ground out a 1-0 win thanks to Phil Foden’s early strike, but a look at Stones’ touch map, almost a 50:50 split between the attacking and defensive halves, showed how heavily involved he’d been, and not just in that initial build-up play.

It was a display that caught the eye of Match of the Day presenter and former England international Gary Lineker, who said he'd been ‘mesmerised’ by Stones' almost effortless ability to transform into an attacking midfielder.

Ex-City defender Micah Richards added: "John Stones, just his position, I’d like to say he was playing centre-back but look at the positions he is picking up. He is not just in there to be a decoy, he gets on the ball and he plays it.

"The only thing he didn’t get today was probably an assist or a goal. His all-round game was magnificent.”

With 28 appearances in all competitions this season, we perhaps didn’t see as much of Stones as he’d have liked in 2023/24, but those glimpses showed that the defender remains one of our most integral players, and one of the finest defensive operators in the game.

And with the 30-year-old recovering from illness in time for England’s Euro 2024 opener against Serbia on Sunday afternoon, you’d expect him to be central to any success the Three Lions may achieve this summer.

Season stats

Played (all comps): 28

Goals: 1

Minutes played: 1,858

Passes: 831

Interceptions: 10*

Clearances: 20*

Recoveries: 46*

Duels won: 22*

(*Premier League only)

In his own words

"Winning six in a row, the Treble, all the things that have come so far in my career, it's incredible and such a strange feeling.

"The duration and all the ups and downs that get you to this point, it's been quite an emotionally good end to the season in the respect of we've been here before knowing the pressure of what's needed.

"The outcome is just incredible. I'm absolutely thrilled. It's never plain sailing but we get there in the end."

Pep on Stones

“He had previous seasons a lot of setbacks. Last season was amazing.

“The most important thing is how professional he is.

"How he builds up his lifestyle in terms of food and rest and preparation before the game and to recover the game.

"He is incredibly professional."