Tevez, Robinho, Bridge: Manchester City's first 10 signings after 2008 takeover


The Premier League is going to look a little different when it returns from the current international break.

The sleeping giant that is Newcastle United will step into a brave new era after the club was successfully taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

With the fund’s backing, the Magpies will, overnight, become the richest club in the league, so it is no surprise that the mood around St. James’ Park is euphoric.

The fact that Newcastle’s new owners wildly eclipse the owners of Manchester City when it comes to the financial arm wrestle highlights just how historic a moment this could be.

City went through a similar awakening in 2008 when Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi ploughed copious amounts of cash into the team and revolutionised the club.

The club went on a fervent spending spree snapping up quality players left, right and centre and Newcastle fans will be hoping for a similar outlay in the coming months.


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However, City didn’t nail it in the market early on, so we thought we would have a look at their first ten signings after the 2008 takeover.

Manchester City’s first 10 signings after takeover


When City swooped for Robinho, it was a real show of intent.


They had arrived and were taking on the heavy hitters for the biggest talents. Sadly, Robinho’s time in England never panned out.

He was recently slapped with a nine year prison sentence by Italian for his role in an incident that took place during his time with AC Milan.

Wayne Bridge

Bridge was snapped up from Chelsea in january 2009 and was a regular starter at left-back for a while.


However, he quickly fell out of favour at City, and would wind up finishing his career at Reading in 2014.

He has since made an appearance on ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ and makes regular media appearances as a pundit.

Craig Bellamy

One of the true journeymen of the English football scene, Bellamy made 51 appearances in the City blue.

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He found the net 15 times and most recently worked as a coach in the Anderlecht youth system.

Nigel de Jong

De Jong really was a bit of an enigma.

On his day he was the best in the league but his discipline record was pretty miserable.

He was the definition of a midfield enforcer, racking up 157 appearances for City. He now plies his trade in Qatar.

Shay Given


Given swapped Newcastle for Manchester in 2009 and immediately established himself as the first choice stopper between the sticks.

He was shipped off to Aston Villa in 2011 before calling it quits while at Stoke City and is now a coach at Derby County.

Gunnar Nielsen

Nielsen’s time at City was entirely uneventful.

Signed from Blackburn during those heady 2009 days, Nielsen would go on to spend three years at the club, making a paltry single appearance.


He now plays for Icelandic outfit FH.

Gareth Barry

City managed to hijack Liverpool’s move for Barry and it proved to be a fantastic bit of business.

A reliable presence in the City engine room, Barry missed just four games in City’s successful 2010/11 Premier League campaign.

He retired from football in August 2020.

Roque Santa Cruz


City did a lot of business with Blackburn in those early years.

Santa Cruz never quite made the grade at City, scoring just four goals in 24 appearances for the Sky Blues.

He has since returned to his homeland where he plays for Club Olimpia.

Stuart Taylor

Taylor was a beneficiary of the Premier League’s homegrown player rule which saw several teams sign an Englishman as their third-choice goalkeeper.

He played just once in three years and has been without a club since leaving Southampton in 2018.

Carlos Tevez


Tevez was easily the most controversial of City’s signings after he swapped the red half of Manchester for blue.

He enjoyed a successful period at the club, winning the title in 2011/12.

He returned to Argentina where he currently plies his trade at Boca Juniors.

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