Ranking every striker Man City have signed since the 2008 takeover

Quick Reads

Manchester City‘s fortunes were transformed when Sheikh Mansour bought the club in 2008, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got everything right.

In their quest for firepower to support Sergio Aguero, City have on occasions made lavish purchases with very little reward. Wilfried Bony, we’re looking at you.

We’ve ranked all 16 strikers purchased since the Abu Dhabi takeover, from worst to best.

16. Wilfried Bony

In relationships, sometimes the timing is just off. On other occasions, our fortunes are darkened by the arrival of the wrong type of person. Occasionally, it’s both.

This summarises the story of Bony at City. Signed for £28million in January 2015 after impressing at Swansea, the Ivory Coast forward never looked likely to provide the spark to reignite City’s faltering title defence.

Nobody seriously expected Bony to prove anything more than experienced back-up, but he failed to meet even these meagre expectations.

15. Ruben Sobrino

He came, he made zero appearances, he left for Spain.

14. Enes Unal

In the same boat as Sobrino, the Turkey international ranks higher for scoring more at Villareal than his counterpart managed for Valencia.

13. Roque Santa Cruz

Look, we loved Santa Cruz at Blackburn. At City? We’re struggling to remember any contribution of note.

A real shame.

READ: Sven-Goran Eriksson: Shinawatra stopped speaking to me at Man City

12. Pablo Moreno

Moreno only signed for the club this summer, so it feels too soon to make rash judgements about his spell at City here.

11. Nahuel Bastos

As above, which means he can’t be worse than Bony.

10. Stevan Jovetic

Players of Football Manager 2011 will remember Jovetic as a player of immense potential, capable of unlocking any defence and forming a lethal partnership with another wonderkid Yaya Sanogo.

Reality is sadly different. It never really happened for him at the Eithad, marginalised by the likes of Sergio Aguero and being dropped from City’s Champions League squad for Wilfried Bony –  a decision Jovetic said “killed him”.

It would have killed us too.

9. Robinho

Robinho thought he was signing for Chelsea when he became Abu Dhabi’s marquee signing in 2008. By the end of his spell at City, some suspected he was mentally playing for them too.

Still, it’s hard to forget the excitement that greeted his arrival. After years of Paul Dickov toiling upfront and being knocked out of the League Cup by Chesterfield, City had signed a bonafide world-class player.

Yes, it didn’t quite come off but that reaction should be bottled and sold as mood enhancers to all football fans.

8. Emmanuel Adebayor

He’s ranked eighth due to his celebration against Arsenal alone, a gloriously petty moment that will be venerated for decades to come.

He ranks no higher due to this being the highlight of his spell at City.

7. Alvaro Negredo

It’s worth remembering Negredo had scored 23 goals by the end of January in his first season at City.

This was ultimately more misleading than biting into a chocolate cookie and discovering raisins. He never scored for the club again and within two years Negredo was the decorative striker in Aitor Karanka’s miserable Middlesbrough team.

That assist at Fulham though… *chef’s kiss*.

6. Craig Bellamy

The suspicion was that Bellamy was signed from West Ham in January 2009 solely to prevent rivals Tottenham from nabbing him.

As with so many other things, this lazy assumption was quickly proven wrong. The Wales international frequently found himself selected over more glamourous signings and scored 15 goals for the club over two seasons.

It’s always worth signing a player who’s going to publicly slag off John Terry.

5. Mario Balotelli

If letting off fireworks in a confined space was an Olympic event, Balotelli would win gold.

He would also top this ranking, but it’s ultimately hard to make a case for the Italian maverick over those ahead of him in pure footballing terms.

Still, what a man.

READ: Celebrating Mario Balotelli’s ‘shoulder goal’, one of *the* great PL moments

4. Gabriel Jesus

The main striker signed under Pep Guardiola, Jesus has scored over 70 goals for City since his arrival in 2017.

Yet a persistent feeling remains that the Brazil forward is not quite up to the task of replacing Aguero. As Glenn Hoddle would no doubt say in his unique manner, Jesus often needs three chances to score.

However, the 23-year-old did the score the goal that ensured City finished the 2017-18 season with 100 points and will always have a place in the club’s folklore because of it.

3. Edin Dzeko

Often damned with the backhanded compliment of ‘super-sub’, Dzeko was the footballing equivalent of the turmeric in your spice cupboard – never first choice at City, but always proved useful when utilised.

Blessed with the happy habit of scoring crucial goals, the Bosnian was a popular figure among City fans and is well-deserving of a top three placement here.

2. Carlos Tevez

Having signed from hated rivals United – ‘Welcome to Manchester’ and all – Tevez became the first talisman of the Abu Dhabi era at the Eithad, cementing this status by goading Gary Neville after scoring in the derby.

We’re willing to overlook his temper tantrum on the bench in Munich, and subsequent exile, due to the realisation that even Mother Theresa would have got on the wrong side of Roberto Mancini eventually.

Carlos Tevez celebrates

READ: Carlos Tevez: A priceless striker who even proved Fergie wrong

1. Sergio Aguero

He’s not Shaun Goater, but Aguero has been a suitably modern hero for the more successful iteration of Manchester City.

The club’s all-time record goalscorer by some distance, it’s worth remembering Aguero was purchased for just a fraction more than Andy Carroll cost Liverpool.


More Manchester City

Sven-Goran Eriksson: Shinawatra stopped speaking to me at Man City

Can you name every player to score in the Champions League for Man City?

Wayne Bridge: I didn’t see my quality & thought Man City paid too much for me

Ranking Manchester City’s 26 weirdest Premier League signings