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.”