Despite the two eras (2001-2008) with no money and the (2008-2012) with money, I will try to do a mix of both. You’ll also notice how many managers we’ve had. So City, don’t sack Mancini!
GK: Joe Hart
From: Shrewsbury Town for £600,000 by Stuart Pearce, 2006.
What an amazing piece of scouting by Stuart Pearce. This goalkeeper has come from the number 1 post at Shrewsbury Town at the age of just 17 to become Manchester City’s and England’s number 1 and to whom many believe is the best goalkeeper in the world.
Survived the transition from penniless relegation scrappers to rich title contenders, Joe Hart has seen it all, and at 24, he can only get better.
Honourable mentions: David James
RB: Pablo Zabaleta
From: Espanyol for £5,000,000 by Mark Hughes, 2008.
Signed the day before Sheikh Mansour took over, Pablo Zabaleta has been wonderful. Replacing the quite impressive Vedran Corluka, Zabaleta has shown grit and determination every game, and he never gives up.
Zabaleta’s workrate is exemplary while keeping quite the likes of the very best is a task he will never shy away from. A much more talented Sun Jihai, Zabaleta can play anywhere, and will try his best. Hero.
Honourable mentions: Micah Richards
CB: Richard Dunne
From: Everton for £3,000,000 by Joe Royle, 2000
Richard Dunne was losing his way around 2002. Getting drunk far too often, and his weight fluctuating like a balloon, Dunne nearly got sacked by then manager Kevin Keegan. But had he done so, Keegan would have robbed the club of its most consistent performer throughout the nineties.
Richard Dunne was always there, a man who wore his heart on his sleeve and played with passion. Unfortunately didn’t survive the Sheikh revolution. Plying his trade at Aston Villa now, but Dunney will always be remembered for his performances in sky blue.
CB: Vincent Kompany
From: Hamburg for £6,000,000 by Mark Hughes, 2008
Vincent Kompany when he joined the club was a great box to box midfielder like a lesser version of Yaya Toure.
Yet, ever since Mancini has become manager, Kompany has become one of the world's best centre backs in the space of a couple of years. An incredible bargain and a real fighter for the team. Kompany is always there. Captain Fantastic.
Honourable mentions: Sylvain Distin, Steve Howey
LB: Niclas Jensen
From: FC Copenhagen by Kevin Keegan, 2002.
Wow. This shows you how bad our left backs have been over the years. Jensen, who later was abit of a failure for Fulham, was extremely good for City in his one and a bit seasons before his departure to Borussia Dortmund.
That incredible volley against Leeds comes to mind, and as good as he was attacking wise, he was great defensively too. Should never have sold him in our time of need. Replaced by Ben Thatcher, typical City.
Honourable Mentions: Aleksander Kolarov
RM: Shaun Wright-Phillips
From: Trainee, brought in by Joe Royle, 1998.
Shaun Wright-Phillips is a Manchester City legend. Currently playing for QPR, Wright-Phillips is still loved by Manchester City fans everywhere for his immense excitement as a player throughout the years of City never scoring.
His second spell certainly wasn’t as good as his first but everyone will still love him for that amazing goal at the end of the 4-1 victory v Manchester United in 2004.
Honourable mentions: Eyal Berkovic
CM: Yaya Toure
From: Barcelona by Roberto Mancini, 2010.
Yaya Toure has carried Man City at times in the last two seasons. Almost as good as Vieira in his prime, Toure shows the desire and determination that players need for their commitment to the shirt, unlike a lot of Manchester City players nowadays.
Toure has been a revelation and an incredible signing. The goals against Stoke and United in the FA Cup put him in Man City folklore forever. Legend.
CM: Ali Benarbia
From: Paris Saint-Germain by Kevin Keegan, 2001
Ali Benarbia was the man who single handedly with Shaun Goater took Man City to the top flight. His incredible vision and eye for goal was unmatched throughout the team, not even by Eyal Berkovic and gained the captaincy a year later.
I wish we’d signed Benarbia 6 years earlier, because he was absolutely incredible in sky blue.
Honourable mentions: Marc Vivien-Foe, Stephen Ireland
LM: Martin Petrov
From: Atletico Madrid by Sven Goran-Eriksson for £4,500,000, 2007
Petrov was amazing in his few seasons at City. Once described as the best winger in the Premier League and his crossing was immense too, after Shaun Wright-Phillips left, Petrov was City’s exciting player. He filled that role really well, and scored important goals often for City.
Scored Mancini’s first goal in his reign at City before his departure to Bolton. Martin Petrov was Sven’s best signing and I would still happily have him at City.
Honourable mentions: Craig Bellamy
ST: Shaun Goater
From: Bristol City by Joe Royle for £400,000, 1998
Shaun Goater, say the name to any City fan and they will smile and remember the man who gave City fans hope throughout their few turbulent seasons around the turn of the millennium. Goater scored a club record of 32 league goals in one season in 2001/02 with the service from the exceptional Eyal Berkovic and Ali Benarbia.
Goater scored his 100th goal in Man City’s derby win in the last derby at Maine Road. He will always be remembered for that.
ST: Carlos Tevez
From: MSI by Mark Hughes, 2010
The second striker to have played for Man United and despite the recent fiasco this season. Carlos Tevez took City from mid table mediocrity to Champions League place hopefuls. Tevez, for two seasons, was Man City’s talisman and scoring over 43 goals in 65 appearances for City, shows how important he was to them.
The picture of him lifting the FA Cup is a picture engraved into the mind of every City fan, and one, despite recent events, will be cherished.
Honourable mentions: Nicolas Anelka, Jon Macken
Written by Henry Francis
Follow him on Twitter @TheHenryFrancis
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