The history of Manchester City was changed forever back in 2008 when Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi took control of the club and immediately invested heavily in the Lancashire side’s playing squad.
Beginning with the marquee signing of Brazilian forward Robinho, funds have continually been pumped into the City team over the last 14 years.
In fact, since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in July 2016, current boss Pep Guardiola has spent more than €1 billion on new arrivals.
The sheer amount of transfer activity at City during the reign of Sheikh Mansour inevitably means that there’s been a high turnover of players.
Progression from the club’s youth academy hasn’t always been straightforward for aspiring players, with City’s glut of big-money recruits often blocking any opportunity for first-team football.
In addition, a move to City hasn’t necessarily meant a guarantee of regular playing time for many signings over the years.
So many players have come through the Etihad in the Sheikh Mansour-era, that even the most hardcore City fan might struggle to recall them all.
To that end, the folks over at Transfermarkt recently put together a full XI of players you may not have realised were under contract at City. To illustrate, the amount of quality present, the team is valued at more than €200 million today.
We’ve taken a look at it in full below.
An XI of players you probably forgot played for Manchester City
GK: Gerónimo Rulli (now of Villarreal – valued at €6m)
LB: Angeliño (RB Leipzig – €30m)
CB: Stefan Savic (Atletico Madrid – €20m)
CB: Jérôme Boateng (Lyon – €5m)
RB: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle – €18m)
DM: Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa – €35m)
CM: Adrien Rabiot (Juventus – €18m)
RW: Brahim Diaz (AC Milan – €22m)
LW: Jack Harrison (Leeds United – €15m)
FW: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City – €20m)
FW: Enes Ünal (Getafe – €18m)
Spanish shot-stopper Rulli has been a key member of the Villarreal side that shocked all of Europe by getting to the semi-finals of the Champions League this season – the same stage that City were knocked out at by Real Madrid!
Rulli signed for City in July 2016, but never made a senior appearance for the club. He joined Real Sociedad on a permanent deal just six months later.
Newcastle and England full-back Trippier signed his first ever professional contract at City in 2007. He never made a full senior outing in club colours, though.
Centre-back pairing Boateng and Savic are City veterans by the standards of this XI with a mighty 45 appearances between them. Both have gone on to much greater things since.
Left-back Angeliño has three City senior matches on his resume, but confirmed in an interview last summer that he had never actually spoken to Guardiola in his time at the club. Wild when you think about it.
From a midfield of Douglas Luiz, Rabiot, Harrison and Diaz, only the latter ever made it on to the pitch for City in a competitive encounter (15 appearances total).
Can you name these obscure January transfers Manchester City have made?
Had he played for City in a different era, Iheanacho would almost certainly have greater numbers to his name than 21 goals in 64 games. Unfortunately, when you’re stuck behind Sergio Aguero in the pecking order, chances tend to be limited.
That said, the Nigerian’s obvious potential did earn him a move to Leicester, where he’s scored 47 goals in five seasons.
Joining him up top is Turkish striker Ünal. Signed by City in 2015, he never got to pull on a senior jersey for the club.
He’s doing pretty well for himself now, though, with 15 goals for Getafe in La Liga this season.
That this considerable list of talent managed barely 100 City appearances between them is a testament to just how strong the club’s playing staff has been over the better part of the last 15 years.
Liverpool win – Man City face must-win match on final day! (Via The Football Terrace)