6 players who were at Manchester City before the takeover and went on to win the Premier League


Manchester City signed several superstars to help the club win the Premier League title but six stars who were at the club before the Abu Dhabi United Group takeover in 2008 went on to with the league title including four players who won the title with Man City itself.


Daniel Sturridge is a product of the Manchester City academy who played 32 times for the senior team and scored six goals between 2006 and 2009.

Although Sturridge was at City a year after the takeover, he left the club upon the expiry of his contract in June 2009 and signed for Chelsea. He predominantly had a backup role at Chelsea throughout his three and a half year stint but won the Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season with the club followed by the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 2011-12.

The Englishman came agonisingly close to winning the Premier League title again in 2013-14 with Liverpool but his former club, Man City, nicked the title that year.

5. MICAH RICHARDS (Manchester City)

Micah Richards is also a product of the Man City academy and he made his first-team debut in 2005, aged 17. The versatile defender was one of England’s most promising youngsters when he broke into their first team and in 2006, he became England’s youngest ever defender.

Up until the end of the 2011-12 season, Richards was a key member of the team and in the title-winning 11-12 season, he played 29 league games with most of his starts coming as a right-back. In the next two seasons, he only played 18 games and was released in 2015 following a loan spell with Fiorentina.

Richards won the FA Cup with the Manchester club in 2010-11 and the league title in the following season but he wasn’t eligible to receive a Premier League winners’ medal in 2013-14 as he had played in only two games.

He joined Aston Villa after leaving City but his career went downhill quickly and hasn’t played for Villa in two years!

4. KASPER SCHMEICHEL (Leicester City)

Kasper Schmeichel is the third Man City academy prodcut in this list and also the second and final player in this list to win the Premier League title with another club.

Schmeichel played 10 times for Man City’s senior team but was sold to League Two side Notts County in 2009 after five loan spells away from the club. A year after leaving the Citizens, he joined EFL Championship club Leeds United before moving to Leicester City in 2011.

Initially, it looked like the Dane was destined to live in the shadows of his father but after moving to Leicester, he played a crucial role in their journey to the Premier League and more importantly in their journey to become the unlikely league champions in 2016.

Schmeichel started every game of the 2015-16 season at the end of which Leicester won the league title against the odds. In 2018, he came third in The Best FIFA Goalkeeper award following his heroics for Denmark at the World Cup.

3. JOE HART (Manchester City)

Joe Hart joined Manchester City in 2006 and left the club in 2018 although he had multiple loan stints at the starting and ending of his Manchester City career. Hart has a legend status at City and for his contributions for the club, they  recently named a training pitch in his honour.

He played 348 games for the club and was the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper at the club for eight seasons. During this period, Hart won two league titles, two league cups and an FA Cup. 

The 31-year-old also became the first Englishman to win the Premier League Golden Glove while at City and the second keeper to win the award in three consecutive seasons. In the 2014/15 season, he won the Golden Glove for a fourth time which is a record he now shares with Petr Cech.

Not bad for a keeper City signed for an initial fee of only £600,000 from Shrewsbury Town in 2006.

2. PABLO ZABALETA (Manchester City)

On 31 August 2008, Pablo Zabaleta rejected an offer from Juventus to sign for Manchester City and a day after his arrival, Man City was bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group. He was at City for nine seasons and was a huge fan favourite owning to his humble and loving nature.  

The Argentine cost City only £6.45 million and in hindsight, it looks like daylight robbery as he played 332 games in nine seasons for the club en route to winning six trophies including two league titles.

Zabaleta scored only one goal in the 2011-12 season when City won its maiden Premier League title and his goal was the opener against QPR on the final matchday which City eventually won 3-2 in a dramatic manner to clinch the title.

The 33-year-old left City in 2017 after his contract expired and joined West Ham but that hasn’t affected the warmth the City fans have for him.

1. VINCENT KOMPANY (Manchester City)

In August 2008, Manchester City signed a Belgian defensive midfielder from Bundesliga club Hamburg but little did they know that he would go on to become one of the best centre-backs in the world and the captain of City’s greatest teams.

Kompany converted to a centre-back at Man City and quickly became an indispensable member of the team. He has played 339 games for the club so far and lifted nine trophies as the club captain including three league titles.

The Belgian was named the Premier League Player of the Season in 2011-12 when he club won its first league title and that itself is a testament to his abilites as a defender. During that season, Kompany scored the only goal in a game against Manchester United late in the season to swing the title race in City’s favour.

The 32-year-old has been at the club for over ten years now and has outlived many big money centre-backs they’ve signed.