Since the start of the Premier League in 1992, not many clubs have been involved in as many transfer activities as Manchester City. While they now have some of the best players on the planet, over the past two decades there have been some outright failures to play for the club. In this article, let us have a look at some of the worst Manchester City signings ever.
Based on the impact on the club, signing fee, attitude, and fans’ opinion, here are the worst Manchester City signings ever.
15. Laurent Charvet
Laurent Charvet joined City from Newcastle for £1m in 2000, at that time £1m was still quite a lot of money in football. Very soon, it was realised that the club had overpaid for him. The right-back failed to make an impact and was released from his contract in 2002. He is remembered as one of the worst Manchester City signings ever.
14. Christian Negouai
Negouai spent four years at City after a move from Belgian club Charleroi in 2001. During that time, the midfielder just made six league appearances of which two were match starts and scored only once. His career was hampered by a serious injury which required operations on both knees restricting his appearances.
13. Gerry Creaney
Gerry Creaney’s move to Manchester City was a controversial one to begin with, as the club had decided to pay £500,000 and £1million-rated fan favourite Paul Walsh to Portsmouth. While became a fan favourite at Fratton Park too with his continuous goals, Creaney scored just four league goals in three seasons at City.
Creaney was loaned out to Oldham, Ipswich, Burnley and Chesterfield whilst at Maine Road before being released in 1999. This was one of the worst trade deals by a club ever. All these earned him a place among the worst Manchester City signings ever.
12. Stefan Savic
A Premier League winner with the club, Savic’s performances for the club were among the worst ever by a defender. He was signed by the club in 2011 from Partizan. He got his real chance when Vincent Kompany received a four-match ban. However, he wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunity. He showed many instances of nervousness resulting in frequent misplaced passes, tackles and clearances. He was sold to Fiorentina the following season.
11. Rolando Bianchi
Manchester City signed Rolando Bianchi in 2007 for £8.8 million following his impressive outing with Italian club Reggina. However, he seemed to struggle to adapt to the life in England. Bianchi even criticised English cuisine and alcohol culture and expressed his concern about how he could never become a full international unless he returned to Italy. Manchester City soon loaned him out to Lazio, before selling to Torino in 2008.
10. Javi Garcia
The Spaniard was signed from Benfica in the summer of 2012, in order to strengthen the title-winning team. He was seen as a more mobile replacement for Nigel de Jong and was signed in the same window as Jack Rodwell. It was soon realised that he was too slow and didn’t have the passing ability to dictate the tempo at the Etihad Stadium.
Unlike many others on this list, Garcia made a handful of appearances for Man City, but wasn’t able to make an impact. He turned out 80 times for the Skyblues before being sold to Zenit St. Petersburg in 2014.
9. Jack Rodwell
Jack Rodwell seemed destined to be a top player after his career with Everton, but he wasn’t able to replicate any of that for Manchester City. Signed in 2012, to strengthen a title-winning team, Rodwell faced stiff competition throughout his City career from Yaya Toure, James Milner, Javi Garcia, Gareth Barry and Fernandinho for a place in the starting XI.
His career was also halted by the multiple injuries that he faced during his time with the club. He was sold to Sunderland in 2014, a move that derailed his career even further. One of the worst Manchester City signings ever, Rodwell, was voted one of the Sunderland signings ever as well.
8. Benjamin Mendy
The Frenchman had impressed for Monaco in the previous season, tempting Manchester City to fork out a massive transfer fee of £52m in 2017. His initial career with City was plagued with injuries and he spent way more time off field than on it. Whenever he played, his defensive performances left a lot to be desired.
In August 2021, Mendy was charged with several sexual offences and was suspended by Manchester City. He was later acquitted of all charges in 2023. However, his inclusion on this list is solely based on his performances and the massive transfer fee.