Since the Middle Eastern take-over of 2008, Manchester City have packed their squad with a large number of foreign acquisitions. Global names, marquee signings and some of English football’s biggest stars have all made the jump to the Etihad Stadium.
It certainly felt like the beginning of a new era in 2008, but before the influx of money, Manchester City had a long and storied past that has seen some top stars and some less well-known talents turn out in the sky blue.
Some of English football’s biggest names have worn the Manchester City shirt with some making a more significant impact than others. Here are five players you may have forgotten once lined out for City.
Peter Beardsley (1998)
One of the most beautiful technical footballers England has ever produced, Peter Beardsley was loaned to Manchester City in 1998 as the club aimed to survive relegation to the second division under Joe Royle.
Beardsley had represented England at World Cups, won trophies with Liverpool and was a key figure during Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle tenure at the beginning of the 1990s.
Peter’s impact at Maine Road was not as significant though, as he struggled to make much of an effect.
Andy Cole (2004-2005)
One of the greatest strikers to play in the Premier League, Andy Cole, was signed for Manchester City in 2005 when Stuart Pearce convinced the former Manchester United forward to make a move to Manchester once again.
Cole had left Fulham after his contract expired at Craven Cottage and fancied a move back to the north after his family failed to settle in west London. Pearce was keen to capture Cole and partner him with new signing Darius Vassell as the club aimed to achieve a respectable finish.
The former Newcastle and Manchester United striker was a success at City during his one season at the club, with many failing to remember Cole the goal’s impact at Eastlands.
Kasper Schmeichel (2004-2009)
Son of former City goalkeeper Peter, Kasper came through the City academy at Platt Lane with big things expected from his career. Kasper made just eight league appearances for the Blues during his three-years in the first-team as Joe Hart was favoured continuously over the Danish prodigy.
An impressive run of form in 2007 led many to predict Schmeichel would become City’s number one for a few years to come however when Joe Hart was given his opportunity, Kasper’s City career began to look very bleak.
Notts County signed him on a permanent transfer in 2009 before spells at Leeds, Hull and finally Leicester, where he won the Premier League title in 2015/16.
David James (2004-2006)
When David Seaman was forced to retire through injury in January 2004, City were forced into the transfer market to replace the veteran. Kevin Keegan identified David James as the natural successor to Seaman.
James’ time at Eastlands was somewhat successful even though there were some darker days. James was famously requested to play up front for City at the end of the 2004/05 season as the club went chasing a UEFA Cup spot.
Portsmouth came calling in 2006 and James left City after the sense of doom started creeping in around the club.
Andrei Kanchelskis (2001)
Another Manchester United legend who features on our list is the Russian maestro of Andrei Kanchelskis. The former Red Devils winger was loaned to Manchester City in 2001 as Joe Royle aimed to bring in established Premier League stars to guide his City side to survival in 2001.
Kanchelskis was a significant disappointment at Maine Road, and after just 11 appearances he netted one solitary goal against Liverpool in the FA Cup, for which he is fondly remembered.
Maybe not the most successful player in the club’s illustrious history, but one that not many fans are aware played for Manchester City.