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Rocky packs a punch, says Hughes

Hughes talking Roque Santa Cruz

Hughes talking Roque Santa Cruz

Mark Hughes has told Blues fans they are in for a treat once Roque Santa Cruz pulls on a light blue shirt for work.

City's boss has pursued the Paraguay striker's services ever since leaving Blackburn for the City of Manchester Stadium a year ago, and after failing to land Santa in two transfer windows has now made it third time lucky.

Hughes, who raided Bayern Munich to bring Roque to the Premier League, said: "We knew from the first day at Blackburn that we had an outstanding striker on our books and he never disappointed from that day on.

"He is a natural goalscorer, and if the ball is in the right area then Rocky will score goals. When people see Rocky in a Manchester City shirt they will understand very quickly why I wanted to bring him here.

"Sometimes the quality of our attacking play was exceptional last season, but what we didn't have was a focal point. We were creative, yes, but on certain occasions we needed something else - a figurehead, if you like.

"He has the ability to carry that role. They say you stand or fall by your strikers, and at times when things are not going particularly well you need somebody with the ability to get goals on their own."

Santa will not only deliver the goods on the pitch - the Blues manager knows that his new Mr Nice Guy, already a popular pin-up with female fans, will bring a positive personality and character to the dressing-room.

Hughes said: "He's got a great work ethic, he wants to be fit and raring to go so I wasn't surprised he started training early on his own, and he's tasted success at Bayern. Seven years at a club like that had an effect.

"But he's also got a great demeanour. There's always a smile, and he enjoys being part of a group that works hard. That transmits to everybody around him. So the dressing-room is stronger simply for having him around." 

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