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Robinho and Manchester City's 10 Most-Hyped Transfer Signings

Rob PollardFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2014

Robinho and Manchester City's 10 Most-Hyped Transfer Signings

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    In a world where 24-hour rolling news stations dominate our media, hype is part and parcel of life, if only to make the mundane appear news-worthy before it's forgotten about.

    Football is no different, and the rise of the "Transfer Window" has seen increased media frenzy, with looping images of players exiting back doors of hospitals after secret medicals now commonplace on Sky Sports News.

    Manchester City have been involved in their fair share of hyped transfers, particularly in recent seasons since the influx of cash post-takeover, and here we look back at their 10 most-hyped deals.

10. George Weah

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    Back in 2000 under Joe Royle, City weren't used to having world-famous names in their squad. Hardworking togetherness had seen them promoted twice in succession, and back in the Premier League for the first time in four years, their fans expected that graft to be the route to survival.

    However, Royle decided some flair was needed, and in came George Weah, a former World Player of the Year who had played for Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Chelsea. The City fans were quite rightly excited.

    It turned out to be a false dawn, though, as Weah played just 11 games, scoring four goals before moving to Marseille.

9. Samir Nasri

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    In the summer of 2011, Samir Nasri had just completed his best season for Arsenal, where he'd created and scored goals, weaving intricate patters with his movement and skill. It was somewhat of a coup for City to get him, and there was huge expectation amongst the fans.

    His first season ended in a Premier League title win, with Nasri a key player en route to the trophy. However, a dip in form last season saw him close to an early exit, but the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini has reinvigorated the Frenchman, and he's been one of their best players this season.

    It's fair to say Nasri was worthy of the hype and has justified his £24 million fee.

8. Yaya Toure

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    Buying players from Barcelona for £24 million would have been a dream for City fans pre-2008, but that's exactly what happened in the summer 2010 when Yaya Toure arrived at the club.

    Having been used exclusively as a defensive midfielder during his time at the Nou Camp, Toure was deemed surplus to requirements after the emergence of Sergio Busquets, a homegrown, younger player who was seen as the future. Barca cashed in on Toure, much to City's gain.

    He's been a revelation at City. Given freedom to go forward and attack, the unshackled Ivorian has shown that his role at Barcelona was restricting him. His power and pace make him the envy of every club in the league.

7. Shaun Wright-Phillips

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    Shaun Wright-Phillips was an academy graduate at City, and between 1999 and 2005, he wowed the City fans with his ability to run with the ball. He was quick and skilful, a firm favourite with the crowd.

    His form was so good that Chelsea signed him for £21 million, but the move never really worked for Wright-Phillips. He no longer seemed happy and settled and was in and out of the side, losing confidence and form.

    And in 2008, City brought him back from West London, with their entire fanbase beside themselves with excitement. It was a return that never really worked, though, and he left for QPR in 2011 for an undisclosed fee.

6. Emmanuel Adebayor

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    His time at City was a disaster, but there's no doubting the sense of excitement surrounding Emmanuel Adebayor's move from Arsenal in 2009 for £25 million.

    During his three years with Arsenal, he'd garnered a reputation as being a top-notch striker, the kind who, on his day, was unplayable, with his mix of height, strength, power and pace too much for many defenders to handle. When City signed him during a period which saw an influx of high-profile signings, optimism was high.

    After an excellent first few weeks, his form dipped, though, and he never really found his feet at City. He was loaned to Real Madrid in 2011 and sold to Tottenham for just £5 million in 2012.

5. Sergio Aguero

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    Unlike some of the others in this list, the hype around Sergio Aguero's transfer to City was fully justified.

    He arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2011 having established a reputation as being one of the finest young forwards in Europe. He cost City a whopping £38 million but hit the ground running, scoring 30 goals in his debut season, the last of which won City their first title in 44 years in the most dramatic of circumstances.

    He's already scored 50 Premier League goals for the club and is now considered one of the best players in world football.

4. Nicolas Anelka

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    Nicolas Anelka was signed by Kevin Keegan back in 2002 from Paris Saint-Germain, In those days, of course, City were nowhere near the force they are today, and the club record fee was a lot of money for the club to part with.

    He left after three season, having scored 37 goals in 89 games.

3. Mario Balotelli

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    Although he ultimately failed to produce consistently in a Blue shirt, Mario Balotelli is undoubtedly a world-class talent who could go on to be one of the best players in the world.

    Back in 2010 when City signed him from Inter Milan, he was already known as being an outrageously talented young player.

    He scored some great goals for City, including two against United in the 6-1 win at Old Trafford, but ultimately his off-the-field behaviour meant he had to be sold. In 2013, AC Milan signed him on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

2. Carlos Tevez

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    In terms of causing uproar in the local area, the transfer of Carlos Tevez to City after his loan spell at Manchester United will take some beating.

    He joined in the summer of 2009 after United failed to agree to a deal that would have seen him sign permanently, and in a never-to-be-forgotten PR stunt, City had "Welcome to Manchester" billboards put up around the city centre.

    Beneath the hype and furore, though, Tevez proved to be a huge signing in terms of City's development. He was the catalyst for other big-name players arriving and scored 73 goals 138 games before leaving for Juventus last summer.

1. Robinho

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    There could only be one winner in terms of City’s most hyped transfer. After the takeover by Sheikh Mansour and his consortium just days earlier, they needed to make a statement—marquee signing that would get the football world talking—and the deal to bring Robinho from Real Madrid provided just that.

    He cost £32 million and signed a four-year deal after Real Madrid decided to cash in on the Brazilian. It was a deadline-day move that will never be beaten.

    Robinho served his purpose in terms of raising the profile of City and letting everyone know they were serious about becoming a successful side. However, he ultimately failed to live up to his billing on the pitch. He struggled in away matches and in 2010 was allowed to leave for Santos on loan, before AC Milan concluded a permanent deal.

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