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7 stars you probably didn’t know were at Manchester City

L to R - Micah Ricards, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Robinho and Craig Bellamy
L to R - Micah Richards, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Robinho and Craig Bellamy
Naveen Ravi Joseph

Manchester City is easily one of the best teams in Europe at the moment. They won the Premier League last season by annihilating many previous Premier League records including most points, most goals scored and the biggest difference to the second place team.

The Citizens have enjoyed notable domestic success following their take over in August 2008 by the Abu Dhabi United Group. Since then, they’ve spent heavily on world-class players and that has undoubtedly helped them in becoming a force to reckon with.

Man City have signed so many players over the years, it is easy to forget some of the players who played for them albeit with little success.

For instance, many fans will remember Robinho and Emmanuel Adebayor as City’s marquee signings all those years ago, but a few years down the line, their names in Man City history will be drowned by the likes of Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

So, here are six famous stars currently playing for a club in Europe’s major leagues you may have forgotten played for Manchester City.


#7 Denis Suarez (Barcelona)

Suarez played just two games for Man City first team
Suarez played just two games for Man City first team

Denis Suarez arrived at Manchester City in the summer of 2011 for an initial fee of £850,000 from Celta Vigo. Upon joining the Premier League club, he played for their junior teams before making his professional debut in a league cup game.

At the end of his first season in England, Suarez was named City’s Young Player of the Year by the fans.

He was in England for two seasons and made two appearances for the Man City senior team before returning to Spain with Barcelona. He initially played for the Barcelona B team but was sent on loan to Sevilla and Villarreal in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons respectively.

Suarez has been a fringe player for the Barcelona senior team in the last two seasons but the 24-year-old has still played 63 games and won five trophies with the club.

#6 Ben Mee (Burnley)

Mee captained Man City academy team to the FA Youth Cup in 2008
Mee captained Man City academy team to the FA Youth Cup in 2008

Burnley’s defensive stalwart, Ben Mee, is a product of the Manchester City Academy. Mee was captain of the academy squad that won the 2008 FA Youth Cup.

He made his professional debut for Man City as a starter in a League Cup defeat to West Brom in September 2010 and that was the only appearance for the senior team.

He spent the second half of the 2010/11 season on loan at then Championship Leicester City before spending the following season on loan at Championship side Burnley.

Halfway through Mee’s loan spell at Burnley, his move was made permanent. He has been with the club since and the 28-year-old centre-back has now played over 250 games for the Clarets.

#5 Loris Karius (Besiktas, on loan from Liverpool)

Karius left Man City without playing for the first team
Karius left Man City without playing for the first team

Loris Karius is another product of the Manchester City academy in this list to move elsewhere for playing time and return to the Premier League with a different team.

The much-maligned former Liverpool goalkeeper was at Manchester City for two years between 2009 and 2011 and played for the Under-18 and Under-21 teams but he never played for the senior team.

He left England to return to his homeland with Mainz and after two seasons, Karius was the first choice goalkeeper for the Bundesliga club. He played 96 games for Mainz and was voted the second best goalkeeper in Bundesliga in 2015/16 behind Manuel Neuer.

Karius returned to England with Liverpool but his stint with the Reds is one he would like to forget. He made high profile errors in his debut season and lost his place in the team to Simon Mignolet before getting it back halfway through the 2017/18 season.

However, Karius made two howlers in the 2018 Champions League final which cost Liverpool the game and the title. He was replaced by Alisson in the summer and Karius moved to Turkish giants, Besiktas, on a two-year loan.

#4 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur)

Tripper is one of the best right-backs in the Premier League at the moment
Tripper is one of the best right-backs in the Premier League at the moment

A former Tottenham player is now Manchester City’s first-choice right-back and a former Manchester City player is now Tottenham’s first choice right-back.

Trippier came through the academy and was part of City’s FA Youth Cup winning team of 2008 alongside Ben Mee.

Although Tripper trained with the Man City first team, he didn’t play for the first team and spent his final years at the club on loan at Barnsley or Burnley.

Tripper and Mee were both on loan at Burnley for the 2011/12 season and both players completed a permanent move to the club in January 2012.

The right-back was one of Burnley’s best players in 2014/15 although they were relegated from the Premier League. His form earned him a move to Spurs ahead of the 2014/15 season and he has been with them since.

The 27-year-old was one of England’s best players at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and is also one of the best right-backs in the Premier League at the moment.

#3 Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Sturridge is one of the finest players to come through the Man City academy
Sturridge is one of the finest players to come through the Man City Academy

Daniel Sturridge is arguably one the best players to come through the Manchester City Academy.

He made his debut for Manchester City aged 17 years and 154 days and he is still the second youngest debutant for the club behind Micah Richards.

He played 32 games for the Man City first team scoring six goals before joining Chelsea in 2009 upon the expiry of his contract. This didn’t go down well with the City fans as he was a player they had high hopes on.

Sturridge played 96 games for Chelsea scoring 24 times before joining Liverpool in 2013. He’s still a Liverpool player and has scored 64 times in 136 games for the Reds despite injury concerns and being used as a backup striker under Jurgen Klopp.

The 28-year-old has one of the best minutes per goal ratio in the Premier League but injuries have prevented him from hitting the heights that were expected of him.

#2 Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)

Kasper Schmeichel won the Premier League with Leicester City in 2016
Kasper Schmeichel won the Premier League with Leicester City in 2016

If someone tells you that Manchester City academy doesn’t produce good players, then show them this list as Kasper Schmeichel is also a product of the City youth setup.

The Dane played 10 games for Manchester City’s senior team but was loaned out to five different clubs when he was contracted to City. He ultimately joined Notts Country in League Two on a permanent basis ahead of the 2009/10 season before switching to Championship side Leeds United in 2010/11.

Schmeichel moved to Leicester City ahead of the 2011/12 season and has been a crucial member of the Foxes team in their journey from Championship to Premier League Champions.

The 31-year-old is one of the best goalkeepers in the world at the moment and was voted the Danish Footballer of the Year in 2016 ahead of Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.

#1 Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)

Boateng was at Man City for just one season
Boateng was at Man City for just one season

Jerome Boateng was the cheapest signing by Manchester City in the summer of 2011 as he cost a mere £10.4 million. In the same summer, they also signed Yaya Toure, David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov, Mario Balotelli and James Milner.

Boateng, surprisingly, couldn’t nail down a starting role at right-back or centre-back in his only season with Manchester City. He played 24 games in all competitions and won the FA Cup with them before leaving the following summer to join Bayern Munich.

He was frustrated with playing at right-back for City and believed his chances of playing for Germany would be enhanced at Bayern Munich. He was spot on with that decision.

Boateng became a mainstay in the Bayern defence and has won 14 trophies as a Bayern player including the treble in 2012/13. He was also a crucial member of the German team that won the World Cup in 2014.

He might be the only player in this list who is capable of starting regularly for Manchester City’s current team.

Edited by Alan John

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