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5 of the best January signings in Manchester City's history

Gabriel Jesus is one of Manchester City's greatest-ever January signings.
Gabriel Jesus is one of Manchester City's greatest-ever January signings.

The current January transfer window is set to close today, and many of the Premier League’s giants have had a quiet time, including current league leaders Manchester City.

Renowned for being big spenders, Manchester City have not always delved into the transfer market in January. But over the years, they have been able to secure some major transfer hits in the window.

With that in mind, in no particular order, here are five of the best January signings in Manchester City’s history.


#1 Edin Dzeko – Wolfsburg to Manchester City, 2011

Edin Dzeko scored a number of important goals during his time at Manchester City.
Edin Dzeko scored a number of important goals during his time at Manchester City.

Arguably one of the greatest January signings in Premier League history, Edin Dzeko was already considered hot property across Europe when he made his move to Manchester City in January 2011.

The Bosnian had been banging goals in for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and had registered 85 goals in 142 appearances by the time that City parted with around £27m to bring him to the Etihad.

Dzeko’s first half-season at City saw him score six goals in his first 21 appearances for the club. And he continued to find the net into the 2011-12 season, despite starting many games on the bench.

However, the Bosnian’s most memorable moment clearly came on the final day of the 2011-12 campaign.

With City needing two goals to beat QPR and win the Premier League title for the first time, Dzeko scored a 91st minute header to give his side hope. Minutes later, Sergio Aguero scored his famous winner, meaning Dzeko became a Premier League champion in his first full season at the Etihad.

The Bosnian remained at the club for another three seasons, taking his total number of goals for the Citizens to 72 in 189 games. The 2013-14 season saw him win a second Premier League title, while he also got his hands on the FA Cup and the EFL Cup during his time at the club.


#2 Craig Bellamy – West Ham to Manchester City, 2009

Craig Bellamy was a hit in his brief stay at Manchester City.
Craig Bellamy was a hit in his brief stay at Manchester City.

When the Abu Dhabi Group took over Manchester City in the summer of 2008, they had time to break the British transfer record to sign Robinho for £32.5m. However, they waited until the January 2009 window to do most of their business, signing four players.

One of those four was speedy Welsh forward Craig Bellamy, who’d earned a reputation for being both a dangerous attacker and also one of football’s more outspoken personalities.

Thrust into the first team immediately by boss Mark Hughes, Bellamy made his mark on his City debut, scoring the winning goal against one of his old sides, Newcastle United, in a 2-1 victory.

His first half-season at the Etihad saw him score four goals in 11 games. And despite the arrival of a number of attackers in the summer of 2009, Bellamy remained a first-team regular at City going into the 2009-10 season.

That campaign saw him score 10 Premier League goals in 32 appearances, including a spectacular double in City’s famous 4-3 loss to Manchester United.

Unfortunately, the Welshman fell out of favor not long after, as he clashed badly with new Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.

The summer of 2010 then saw him move to Cardiff City, but while he was only at Manchester City briefly, he definitely made an impact.

#3 Nigel de Jong – Hamburg to Manchester City, 2009

Nigel De Jong's combative nature made him a fan favorite at Manchester City
Nigel De Jong's combative nature made him a fan favorite at Manchester City

Along with Craig Bellamy, Shay Given, and Wayne Bridge, Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong was signed by Manchester City in their spending spree of January 2009. Costing around £18m from German side Hamburg, de Jong immediately added steel to City’s midfield.

The Dutch international made 16 appearances in his first half-season with the club. And unlike the other players that signed for City at the same time, de Jong remained a first-team staple when boss Mark Hughes was replaced by Italian Roberto Mancini.

The 2009-10 season saw de Jong make 34 Premier League appearances, practically acting as an ever-present as City narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Champions League for the first time.

2010-11, meanwhile, saw the Dutchman play another 41 games for the Citizens as they won the FA Cup – their first major trophy for 35 years.

And of course, one season later, they followed that up by winning the 2011-12 Premier League title, with de Jong again a big part of the team, although injuries restricted him to just 21 appearances.

The summer of 2012 saw the Dutchman move to AC Milan, but due to his all-action, combative style, he remains well-remembered by City fans to this day.


#4 Aymeric Laporte – Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City, 2018

Aymeric Laporte became a key man for Manchester City upon his arrival in 2018.
Aymeric Laporte became a key man for Manchester City upon his arrival in 2018.

French center-back Aymeric Laporte might be out of favor at Manchester City right now, but it’s still hard to dispute that he’s one of the club’s best-ever January signings.

Signed from Athletic Bilbao in the latter stages of the January 2018 window for a fee of around £57m, Laporte almost immediately found himself thrust into City’s first team.

The Frenchman made nine appearances in the Premier League in his debut season, as City went onto win the league title with a record haul of 100 points.

2018-19 was a much more successful season for him personally. That campaign saw Laporte become City’s primary center-back, as he partnered John Stones, Vincent Kompany, and Nicolas Otamendi, making 35 appearances as his team retained their title.

A serious knee injury in the opening stages of the 2019-20 season saw Laporte miss the majority of that campaign, something that many observers blamed for City’s limp title defense. The Frenchman returned in the latter stages of the season, ending it with 15 appearances altogether.

And while the current campaign has seen him forced out by Pep Guardiola in favor of Stones and Ruben Dias, there’s always a chance that Laporte finds his way back into the first team in the near future.


#5 Gabriel Jesus – Palmeiras to Manchester City, 2017

Gabriel Jesus has proven himself an able goalscorer since his 2017 arrival at Manchester City.
Gabriel Jesus has proven himself an able goalscorer since his 2017 arrival at Manchester City.

Signed at the age of just 19 from Brazilian side Palmeiras in January 2017, Gabriel Jesus cost Manchester City around £27m, making him one of football’s most expensive teenagers.

And while he hasn’t quite gone on to overhaul Sergio Aguero as City’s primary source of goals, the striker has still done well at the Etihad.

His record of 73 goals in 170 appearances for City is outstanding, and only three non-European players can better his record of reaching 14 Champions League goals in just 22 appearances.

Jesus has also scored plenty of key goals too, including the goal that took City to their 100-point tally in the 2017-18 season.

Capable of playing practically anywhere across the front line, Jesus has primarily been used as a super-sub by Pep Guardiola thus far. But with Aguero now winding down, it’s likely he’ll be given more opportunities as City’s first-choice striker.

Whether or not he can really fill the great Aguero’s boots is debatable right now. However, it’s safe to say that he’s already been a huge success at the Etihad and is definitely one of City’s best January signings.

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Edited by Zaid Khan
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