Man City’s 10 best transfers of all time

Man City's 10 best transfers of all time

Over the past 15 years Manchester City have become one of the most elite clubs in the world, at least in terms of their spending power and trophy haul.

Ever since the club was bought over by Sheikh Mansour in 2008, Man City have spent billions on transfers on wages.

Although plenty of money has arguably been wasted on talent, plenty of it has been spent on world-class players who would go on to become legends of the club.

Man City have enjoyed the most dominant period in their history since 2008, so let’s look at the greatest signings the club has made over the past 20 years.


There is a very good chance Ruben Dias will eventually make the list, but as of now he has only been there a year.

Vincent Kompany – £10m (from Anderlecht, 2008)

The saying ‘captain, leader, legend’ most certainly applies to Kompany, who joined City as a defensive midfielder for just £10m back in 2008 before converting into one of the world’s best central defenders as captain of the club.

Kompany was there from the very beginning of the City rebuild, and 360 appearances, 20 goals, and 12 trophies later, his hero status has been cemented at the club.

Signed for a pittance, Kompany is arguably one of the greatest bargains in Premier League history and his winning goal against Leicester City to help secure the 2019 title will live long in the memory of every City fan.

Pablo Zabaleta – £6.45m (from Espanyol, 2008)

Signed for just £6.45m from Espanyol in the same summer that Kompany arrived at the club in 2008, Zabaleta established himself as one of the league’s best full-backs and proved to be an absolute steal for that price.

With 333 appearances and six trophies for the club, Zabaleta was instrumental in establishing City as a force to be reckoned with in English football.

The Argentine was actually signed the day before Man City were taken over by Sheikh Mansour, so the fact that he managed such longevity should be admired.

Carlos Tevez – £47m (from Man Utd/MSI, 2009)

Tevez was only at Man City for four years, but his role in the early stages of the rebuild were crucial. He was signed for £47m from agency Media Sport Investment after a period at rivals Man Utd, and helped City to their first Premier League title in 2012 and their first FA Cup triumph since 1969 the year before.

Man City's 10 best transfers of all time

Carlos Tevez

He may have only started seven games in the title win, but in the two seasons prior, he scored 23 and 20 league goals respectively, which helped City climb the table.

The Argentine’s early impact on this City team shouldn’t be underestimated, while the club’s fans were delighted at plucking him from Man Utd and putting up that famous ‘Welcome to Manchester‘ billboard.

Yaya Toure – £24m (from Barcelona, 2010)

Toure is one of the most underrated players in Premier League history; people don’t quite understand just how good he really was.

His power, technical proficiency, and ability in front of goal struck fear into any opponent, and he was a monster in the middle of the park.

He may have left in 2018, perhaps prematurely, but his impact should not be downplayed.

Over 300 appearances, 79 goals and 50 assists along with eight trophies, and arguably the best individual season (from a midfielder) in Premier league history in 2013/14; Toure had it all.

He was signed for £24m from Barcelona, but he was well worth the money, and of course, who can forget his song!

David Silva – £26m (from Valencia, 2010)

Silva was signed for £26m from Valencia, and played a pivotal role in five League Cup wins, four Premier League triumphs and two FA Cup wins.

In total the silky playmaker made over 400 appearances for the Citizens, scoring 77 goals and assisting 141, an impressive games-per-goal contribution ratio considering his position as a No.10/floating No.8.

Man City's 10 best transfers of all time

David Silva

There are plans for a statue of the Spaniard to be built outside the Etihad and his impact on this side certainly deserves such acclaim.

His ability to find the defence-splitting pass was unerring, and his vision was up there with the best the Premier League has ever seen.

Sergio Aguero – £35m (from Atletico Madrid, 2011)

Aguero joined the club for £35 million from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has played a fundamental role in their rise to the top of English football.

Five League Cup wins, four Premier League titles, and one FA Cup victory; Aguero’s trophy cabinet is stacked.

Along the way, he has made over 350 appearances for the club, scoring 257 goals in all competitions to become the club’s all-time record goalscorer.

He has also netted 181 in just the Premier League, the fourth-highest in history and the highest for a foreign player, with the quickest goals-per-minute ratio ever in the competition – a goal every 108 minutes.

Fernandinho £34m (from Shakhtar, 2013)

Fernandinho has been at the club since a £34m move from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013.

He has racked up over 300 appearances, and allowed the likes of Silva, Toure and Kevin De Bruyne the springboard to show their magic.

He has won 11 trophies at the club, and while not a high-profile name like Aguero, Silva, or De Bruyne, Fernandinho will go down in City folklore as a crucial part of their success in the 2010s.

Kevin De Bruyne – £55m (from Wolfsburg, 2015)

Signed the year before Guardiola arrived, De Bruyne joined Man City with the weight of the English press’ criticism on his shoulders. After an underwhelming spell at Chelsea in which he was never really given a fair shot, he then lit up the Bundesliga and since signing for City, the rest is history.

Man City's 10 best transfers of all time

Kevin De Bruyne

He’s won 11 trophies at the club, made over 250 appearances, and contributed to over 160 goals. De Bruyne is a Manchester City legend, and one of the their greatest ever signings.

It’s hard to think that £55m can be a bargain, but De Bruyne has proven that it’s possible.

Raheem Sterling – £49m (From Liverpool, 2015)

Sterling was just 20 when this move happened, and it represented a huge gamble from City’s hierarchy. He had displayed his talent at Liverpool, but he was far from consistent, which was shown by his tally of six goals and two assists in his first Premier League season for City; for someone who cost so much, that wasn’t good.

However, once Guardiola began to work with Sterling, he became far more clinical in front of goal, and his 18 strikes in the 2017/18 season, and 17 the following year helped the side to back-to-back titles.

It was a risky move at the time, but it’s certainly paid off. Now 26, it seems as though Sterling has been around forever, but he still has years left at the top level.

Ederson – £35m (from Benfica, 2017)

With Man City busy buying superstars outfield, there was a feeling that Joe Hart presented a weakness without the team even if he was a Premier League winner.

Claudio Bravo didn’t fair much better, so Guardiola realised the need for a world class goalkeeper.

Even Pep could not have predicted how easily Ederson would adapt to English football.

The Brazilian is an outstanding shot stopper, but his best talent arguably comes with the ball at his feet as his long, drilled passes over the top of defences are a joy to behold.

He really could play outfield as a professional if he wanted to.