Hughes: Santa can be a star for City

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Mark Hughes is confident Roque Santa Cruz will become one of Manchester City's unsung heroes.

Amid a summer of big spending on high-profile stars, Santa Cruz's £17million arrival from Blackburn slipped under the radar somewhat.

Hughes said: "I know the talent he has. I know the attributes he has and I know what kind of guy he is. He is a driven guy. He is ambitious and he wants to win."

The South American was not exactly cheap, but at the time, all the talk was of Carlos Tevez, with Emmanuel Adebayor's £25million arrival overshadowing Santa Cruz's recovery from knee surgery.

Yet the same general opinions could also have been reached about Craig Bellamy's switch from West Ham in January and the Welshman has gone on to be one of the early-season stars in City's excellent start.

And, after he made his debut in the victory over the Hammers on Monday night, Hughes is looking for Santa Cruz to go on and make a similar impact.

"Certainly there were a few eyebrows raised when I brought Craig to the club," recalled Hughes.

"People doubted him and his ability. I certainly didn't because I knew what I was getting.

"It will be the same with Roque. The challenge is there, not just for him and Craig, but everybody in the squad."

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Emmanuel Adebayor
Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Carlos Tevez
Mark Hughes
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Roque Santa Cruz
Mark Hughes
West Ham United

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