Since the start of the Premier League in 1992, not many clubs have been involved in as much transfer activities as Manchester City. While they are now rightly considered among England’s elite, 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.
Here are the 12 worst Manchester City signings ever.
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12. Laurent Charvet
The French full-back joined City from Newcastle for £1m in 2000 when £1m was still quite a lot of money in football.
Quite quickly it turned out that whatever City paid was too much, as Charvet set about demonstrating he wasn’t fit for purpose.
He made 20 Premier League appearances in his first season – but City were relegated, and of the 20 he appeared in, they only won five. He made just three appearances the following season under Kevin Keegan before heading back to France with Sochaux after his contract was cancelled.
11. Wilfried Bony
Before joining Manchester City, Bony scored 35 goals in 70 games for Swansea and was on radar of few Premier League clubs. Manchester City signed him in Januray 2015, for a fee of £25 million.
He didn’t have a great start to his manchester City career. Bony scored eight goals in 34 appearances in 2015–16.
Bony struggled for game time at Man City and following the arrival of Pep Guardiola in the summer of 2016 he joined Stoke City on loan for the 2016–17 season. He was later sold to Swansea..
10. Christian Negouai
Negouai was bought for £1.5 million by Manchester City from Charleroi in 2001. He made just six league appearances of which two were match starts and scored only once, against Rotherham, in his four years at the club.
His time at Manchester City was hampered by a serious injury which required operations on both knees restricting his appearances. He is definitely one of the worst Manchester City signings ever.
9. Eliaquim Mangala
The latest addition among the worst Manchester City signings ever is Eliaquim Mangala. He signed for Manchester City on a five-year contract, for a reported £31.8 million transfer fee in August 2014.
Mangala made his debut in City’s fifth match of the Premier League season, a 1–1 home draw against Chelsea on 21 September. Lining up alongside captain Vincent Kompany, his performance was described by BBC Sport as “colossal”.
However, his performances after that game were poor. Despite media criticism, manager Manuel Pellegrini said “we continue to trust him because he is a very good player who had very bad luck”. But continous poor performances made him very unpopular among the fans and he was soon shown the exit door.
8. Gerry Creaney
Creaney moved to Manchester City in 1995, with City paying £500,000 and £1million-rated Paul Walsh moving to Fratton Park in exchange. While Walsh scored for fun at Fratton Park, Creaney scored just four league goals in three seasons at City, dropping out of the starting line up for Uwe Rosler and Nigel Clough to take his place.
He was loaned out to Oldham, Ipswich, Burnley and Chesterfield whilst at Maine Road before being released in 1999. All these earns him a place among the worst Manchester City sinings ever.
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7. Stefan Savic
Savic joined Manchester City in july 2011. He made his debut against Swansea City on 15 August as a substitute at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Throughout centre-back Vincent Kompany’s four-match ban from 11 to 25 January, Savić replaced him in the starting line-up. Although Savić showed brief flashes of form in this time, he showed many instances of nervousness resulting in frequent misplaced passes, clearances and crucially conceded a penalty against Liverpool in a League Cup match, resulting in a Liverpool win. Via a poor first touch, he caused Jermain Defoe’s goal in City’s 3–2 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
With Kompany’s return to the starting team, Savić returned to the bench. He ended the season with 12 league appearances, enough for a medal, as Manchester City won the 2011–12 Premier League on the last day of the season.
In August 2012, Italian Serie A club Fiorentina signed Savić as part of a deal for Matija Nastasić to transfer the other way.
6. Rolando Bianchi
In July 2007 Bianchi moved to Manchester City for a reported fee of £8.8 million, where he was given the number 10 shirt. Bianchi scored on his debut for City against West Ham, slotting home from close range following a run and pass from Elano.
Later that month, Bianchi criticised English cuisine and alcohol culture, and stated how he could never become a full international unless he returned to Serie A. In January 2008, Manchester City manager Sven-Göran Eriksson informed Bianchi that he would be allowed to leave the club. Soon after that, Bianchi finalised a loan move to Lazio after not being able to settle in England.
5. Matías Vuoso
Matías Vuoso began his career in Argentina with Independiente. Playing alongside Diego Forlán, Vicente scored seven goals in 29 games for Independiente in 2000–01 and another seven in 35 games in 2001–02.
He left the Argentinian club in June 2002 to sign with Manchester City, joining for £3.5 million. However, Vuoso did not appear in a single game for Manchester City, and was subsequently loaned out to Santos Laguna for the 2003–04 season.
4. Scott Sinclair
Sinclair signed a four-year contract with champions Manchester City on 31 August 2012, moving from Swansea. He was given the number 11 shirt.
Impressed against City for Swansea but didn’t make it for the blues. He made just two starts in a three-year stay and never looked like he was good enough for the Blues.
On 8 May, he had surgery on a blood clot in his shoulder, ending a frustrating season in which he played only 190 minutes of league football, after which he suggested that manager Roberto Mancini had not given him a fair chance.
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3. Roque Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz was worth £17.5 million on a four-year deal. The move to Manchester City reunited Santa Cruz with his former manager at Blackburn, Mark Hughes. He scored his first league goals for Manchester City, a brace in a 4–3 home victory against Sunderland on 19 December, a game which proved to be Mark Hughes’ last game at the club. Santa Cruz’s appearances, however, were limited when Roberto Mancini took over as manager, due to a succession of injuries coupled with a lack of form.
Brilliant in Blackburn he was miserable in Manchester, scoring just three goals in 20 appearances. Was long forgotten before he was eventually released in 2013.
Jo arrived at the Etihad for a club record £19m in July 2008, having scored 44 times in 77 matches for Russian giants CSKA Mosco. Reflecting now, all things considered, he might be the worst pound-for-pound Manchester City signing of all time. He would make 41 appearances for City with an awful return of just six goals.
Loan spells at Everton and Galatasaray were also a washout and after three painful years he returned to his homeland to play for Internacional.
1. Lee Bradbury
Manchester City signed Bradbury for a club record fee of £3m in July 1997 fighting off several other suitors for his signature.
He was a powerful, grafting centre-forward with a rocket of a shot – while an imposing debut away at Burnley had many Blues believing he could be the man to fire them to promotion from the old First Division.
He wasn’t to do so and several months later Bradbury succumbed flopped quite spectacularly. His time at City was an unmitigated disaster despite a relatively respectable 10 league goals in 36 appearances as the Blues were relegated into the third tier for the first time in their history.
Chairman Francis Lee said of the deal: “I was on holiday in Portugal when we signed Bradbury and ‘d never seen him play.”