Man City's worst signings since 2008 as Saudi consortium buy Newcastle

Newcastle beware! Being the Premier League’s new moneybags won’t stop you from splurging on flops… just ask Man City – who’ve wasted cash on £42m Eliaquim Mangala, £25m Wilfried Bony and £15m Jack Rodwell since their 2008 takeover

  • A Saudi-backed consortium has completed a deal to buy Newcastle for £305m
  • Newcastle fans are excited over their future with their new wealthy owners 
  • Manchester City have made some big signings since their takeover in 2008 
  • They have also made a number of costly mistakes in the transfer market
  • Newcastle will hope to avoid a repeat of some of the mistakes Man City made 

There is much excitement at Newcastle after it was confirmed on Thursday that a Saudi-based consortium had completed a deal to buy the club for £305m, bringing an end to Mike Ashley’s 14-year reign at St James’ Park.

Fans of the club will instantly look to the rise of Manchester City under their Abu Dhabi ownership as an example of what they could possibly achieve in the upcoming years.

But City have shown that having unlimited cash doesn’t mean a club will always get their transfer business right, with some poor signings since their 2008 state-funded takeover.

Sportsmail looks the ten worst signings made by City since Sheikh Mansour and his riches took charge of the club. 

Newcastle fans celebrated at St James’ Park after their clubs £305m takeover

Mike Ashley is gone and replaced by a Saudi based consortium led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Man City have made many signings since their takeover, but some of it was poor business

Roque Santa Cruz – £17.5m from Blackburn (June 2009)

The Paraguayan international joined City in the first summer under new owner Sheikh Mansour in 2009.

Santa Cruz had a great first season at Blackburn scoring 19 goals in 37 Premier League appearances but scored just four in 20 in his second campaign.

Manchester City still made their move but he struggled for game time when Roberto Mancini took charge due to a succession of injuries coupled with a lack of form.

He was back at Blackburn for the second half of the 2010/11 season, before year-long loan spells at Real Betis and Malaga before signing for the latter in 2013.

At Manchester City, he scored just four goals in 24 appearances across all competitions.  

Roque Santa Cruz scored just four goals at Manchester City compared to 29 at Blackburn

Jerome Boateng – £10m from Hamburg (June 2010)

It is painful for a club to see a player go on to great things, especially when Manchester City got nowhere near to seeing the best out of Boateng.

There was a sense of bad luck to his time at the club as he suffered a knee injury on international duty with Germany the week before the start of the 2010/11 season.

What didn’t help was a drinks trolley crashing into his knee and aggravating the injury on the plane ride home.  

He did make his debut in September of that season and went on to make just 16 Premier League appearances for the club who never got to see the player he would go on to become.

Boateng asked to head back home and was allowed to leave for Bayern Munich where he went on to win a Champions League, seven Bundesliga titles and a World Cup with his country.  

City never saw the best of Jerome Boateng (right) compared to Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva and Yaya Toure (left to second right)

Jack Rodwell – £15m from Everton (August 2012)

The midfielder was once seen as one of England’s hottest prospects with Fabio Capello saying he would be ‘very important for years to come,’ after making his international debut.

His move to the Etihad though seemed a surprising decision at the time as the club already had a host of top players in his position.

He struggled to get much game time with the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva, James Milner, Gareth Barry and Samir Nasri all ahead of him in the pecking order.  

Rodwell also suffered with a number of injuries and was limited to just 16 Premier League appearances across two seasons.

He joined Sunderland for £10m in 2014 but has never reached the same heights he hit at Everton.

Jack Rodwell saw his game-time limited by the immense competition he faced at City

Javi Garcia – £16m from Benfica (August 2012) 

In the same summer they signed Rodwell, Manchester City also completed the signing of Spanish midfielder Garcia.

Unlike the English midfielder, Garcia got plenty of game-time over his two seasons at the club, making 80 appearances.

He arrived with big expectation but struggled to ever adapt to the Premier League, as he was too slow and didn’t have the passing ability to succeed at the Etihad Stadium.

He was largely used as a substitute during his two-year spell, and fans were happy that City could recoup £13m for him from Zenit St Petersburg in 2014. 

Javi Garcia never looked comfortable in the Premier League after his arrival from Benfica

Maicon – £3m from Inter Milan (August 2012) 

It’s perhaps no surprise Roberto Mancini’s side failed to retain their title in the 2012/13 season when you look at some of the signings they made.

Maicon was a cheap signing but for his reputation in the game, much more was expected from the Brazilian when he arrived on deadline day in 2012.

During his time at Inter Milan he was known as one of the best full-backs in world for a period of time, but he was well past his best when he arrived at the Etihad.

He left for Roma after just one season in which he made just nine appearances and was unable to dislodge Pablo Zabaleta from the right-back position.

City could perhaps have taken note from his performance against Gareth Bale in the Champions League for Inter Milan against Tottenham in 2010, with the Welshman scoring a hat-trick.

Maicon was past his best-by date when he arrived at Manchester City from Inter Milan

Stevan Jovetic – £22m from Fiorentina (July 2013)  

The forward arrived as one of the marquee signings that summer on the back of two impressive seasons at Serie A side Fiorentina.

Big things were expected when he arrived but a mixture of injuries and poor form led to him resulted in him failing to make much of an impact the Etihad Stadium.

He made 44 appearances at the club over two seasons, though just 11 of them he made the starting XI.

Jovetic scored 11 goals for City before he left for Inter Milan in the summer of 2016, having spent the previous season at the San Siro on loan.  

Stevan Jovetic (left) was one of Europe’s hottest prospects but struggled at the Etihad Stadium

Eliaquim Mangala – £42m from Porto (August 2014) 

The French centre-back when he joined the Etihad was the most expensive defender in British transfer history.

He was signed with the hope to be a long-term partner for Vincent Kompany and to eventually succeed the Belgian as City’s defensive lynchpin. 

What they got however was perhaps their biggest financial mistake to date and was nowhere near the standard required for the side that had just won their second Premier League title.

He was often criticised for his part in goals that were conceded, poor positioning and slow reactions. 

Mangala was contracted at the club until 2019 during which he spent loan spells at Valencia and Everton.

Defender Eliaquim Mangala (left) was often criticised for his parts in goals that were conceded

Wilfried Bony – £25m from Swansea (January 2015)

The Ivory Coast international was a proven Premier League goalscorer when he arrived at the Etihad, scoring 26 times in 54 appearances during an impressive two-year stint at Swansea.

He was brought in to boost the club’s attack but he scored just two goals in his first season after arriving in January.

Bony contracted malaria which hampered his preparations for the next season in which he was rarely selected, scoring just three goals in 18 appearances which were mostly off the bench.

He joined Stoke on loan for the 2016/17 season before returning for Swansea, but was unable to find the same form he found during his first stint at the club.

Wilfried Bony struggled for goals at Manchester City after impressing many at Swansea

Claudio Bravo – £17m from Barcelona (August 2016)

The goalkeeper was one of Pep Guardiola’s first signings and was brought in with the intention of replacing Joe Hart.

Still to this day he is regarded as one of Guardiola’s worst signings at the club as he made a number of high profile errors in his first season with the club.

He made a mistake on his debut during a 2-1 victory over Manchester United and in October was sent off for handling the ball outside of his area in a 4-0 loss to Barcelona. 

Bravo eventually lost his place to Willy Caballero before Guardiola made one of his best signings in Ederson the following summer.  

He made 61 appearances for City before leaving for Real Betis once his contract expired in the summer of 2020. 

Claudio Bravo made a number of high-profile mistakes when he first arrived at the club

Benjamin Mendy – £52m from Monaco (July 2017) 

The Frenchman put in some stellar displays for Monaco the season before, helping them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, knocking out Manchester City in the process.

He then joined the Etihad, but has suffered with several injury plagued seasons at the club.

When he did play, he was exposed for his lack of defensive prowess with several teams targeting his side of the pitch and he was often been found out of position, which had resulted in him dropping behind Oleksandr Zinchenko and Joao Cancelo in the pecking order.   

MailOnline reported last month that Mendy will go on trial early next year after he was charged with four counts of rape and one sexual assault.   

The charges were not put to him during a hearing at Chester Crown Court last month and no pleas were entered, with a date of January 24, 2022 set for the trial.

A further hearing will be held on November 15 and Eleanor Laws QC, defending Mendy, said there would be an application to dismiss the charges on that date.

Benjamin Mendy was exposed for his lack of defensive prowess by other Premier League sides




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