Man City's Final Team Before The Sheikh Mansour Takeover: Where Are They Now?
Before a takeover would pump hundreds of millions of pounds into Manchester City football club, they were a languishing mid-table side with little to look forward to. In the season that we're about to look at (2007-08), City finished 9th with 55 points - and that was with a £30m cash injection at the start of the campaign from their new owner, Taksin Shinawatra.
With Shinawatra came Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was appointed first team coach after parting ways with the FA following his brief stint as England manager. Eriksson was very active in the transfer window and brought in eight relatively high-profile players to the first team squad. However, the honeymoon phase for Eriksson was cut short after he was sacked for a poor run of results. He would be replaced by Mark Hughes on 2 June 2008, and it was Hughes who would manage the side at the start of the takeover era.
But one question you might have thought to yourself at one time or another is, what happened to the players who were around before this takeover? Did they remain in the background or were they ruthlessly shipped out to make way for bigger names?
Let's take a look at the final starting-eleven Manchester City had before the takeover.
#1 Joe Hart - Burnley
Hart had only been at Manchester City for a couple of years following his move from Shrewsbury Town, yet he featured in 32 games across all competitions in the 2007-08 campaign. His huge part in the starting eleven came as a surprise to most people, as Hart was still young and inexperienced. Despite this, Hart showcased his talent for all to see and cemented himself in the first team squad.
However in the summer of 2009, Hart made the switch to Birmingham City on loan. Here, yet again, Hart proved that he was capable of being a first-choice goalkeeper and upon his return from the loan in May 2010, Hart would stay at City for six more years until 2016.
2016 was a tough year for Joe Hart, as the arrival of Pep Guardiola saw the goalkeeper get swiftly replaced by Claudio Bravo. Hart was sidelined for some time before being shipped out on loan to Torino. But here he failed to impress and came back without a solid reason for Guardiola to reintegrate him into the side.
Hart was given a final chance by Manchester City and was sent to West Ham on loan for the 2017-18 Premier League season, but it simply wasn't to be. He had taken the place of Adrian briefly at the start of the campaign, but following a series of blunders, the manager soon lost faith in him and restored Adrian as the first-choice 'keeper. Again, Hart was left to watch from the sidelines.
It wasn't until August 2018 that Hart was freed from the grasp of Manchester City, and he joined Burnley for £3.5m. He's played well for Burnley so far this season, but it's whether he can keep it going that'll decide his future from here.