The List takes a look back through the history books to find the best of the best – we’ve pitted City’s top goalscorers against each other to find out which players have scored the most goals in a season in all competitions since World War II…
Derek Kevan 36
Arriving from Chelsea in the summer of 1963, Derek Kevan ensured instant hero status by finishing as top scorer in his debut campaign in City colours. His exquisite total of 36 goals is yet to be topped, with 30 of his strikes coming in the league as City battled to return to the top division at the first attempt. The former West Brom man hit a particularly profitable run towards the end of November, when he scored in eight consecutive matches, while he also found the back of the net in each round of the League Cup to fire City to the semi-finals. The striker’s goal ratio for his country wasn’t bad either – Kevan netted eight times in 14 appearances for England.
Francis Lee 35
A single strike behind Kevan in the race for top spot, Francis Lee scored a dazzling 35 times in the 1971-72 campaign as City finished fourth in the old First Division. Smashing the record for the most penalties scored in a season, the England international found the net 15 times from the spot in all competitions and won many of the kicks himself. All but two of his strikes came in the league, with Lee on target for 33 of City’s 77 goals in the campaign. The forward always relished a local derby, and he scored in both matches against Manchester United – netting a brace at Old Trafford as part of a 3-1 victory.
Alex Harley 32
Scottish centre-forward Alex Harley was on the scoresheet 32 times during the 1962-63 campaign, including 23 strikes in the league, yet remarkably City were relegated from English football’s top table. During his only season in a City shirt Harley netted the winner at Old Trafford, while also proving crucial in City’s journey in both the domestic cup competitions. He scored all three goals in the FA Cup to help City reach the fifth round, while he grabbed a brace twice against Blackpool in the League Cup, earning a replay on the first occasion, and also scored the winner against Newport County and Luton Town before the Blues were knocked out by Birmingham in the sixth round.
Shaun Goater 32
Consistently prolific in front of goal, Shaun Goater finished as City’s top scorer in each of his first four full seasons at the club. The Bermudan’s own personal best of 32 strikes in all competitions in the 2001-02 season catapults him into this all-time list, and he was the first City player to hit 30 goals in a season for the club since Francis Lee in 1972. Netting 28 times in 42 league appearances, he finished the campaign as the top scorer in Division One and helped City cruise to the title, winning promotion back to the Premier League. Unsurprisingly, he was voted into the PFA Team of the Year alongside teammates Ali Benarbia and Eyal Berkovic.
Sergio Aguero 30
Never far from a list centred around goals, Sergio Aguero proved an instant hit at the Etihad Stadium when he chalked up 30 strikes in all competitions in his debut season in English football. The Argentine’s 23 league goals were pivotal in securing City’s first league title in 44 years – none more so than his dramatic, late strike against QPR! After announcing his arrivazxl with a brace on his debut, Aguero shone in a City shirt throughout the campaign. He was named Etihad Player of the Year and took home the Club’s Goal of the Season award for his first goal in the 6-1 away rout of Norwich to cap off a truly special year for Sergio and the Blues.
Carlos Tevez 29
After swapping the red of Manchester United for the blue of City in 2009, Carlos Tevez was destined to be a crowd favourite – and he cemented his place in Blue hearts by netting 29 times in his first season for the club. The striker was quick to record braces against Bolton and Wolves before grabbing his first City hat-trick against Blackburn in January 2010, and he found the net six times in six League Cup appearances on the way to the semi-final of the competition. The City fans and players had no doubts about his value – he took home the Players’ Player of the Year and the Official Supporters’ Player of the Year gongs at the end of the season.