With Premier League clubs now able to conduct their mid-season business, the List examines which January signings, since the window’s inception, have gone on to make the most appearances in all competitions for the Blues.
Nigel De Jong 137
Midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong arrived from Hamburg in January 2009 and became a firm fan favourite during his three and a half years in a City shirt. An integral member of the side that lifted the FA Cup in 2011 and ended the 44 year wait for the title in spectacular fashion in 2012, the Dutchman turned out 137 times for the Blues and scored two goals. A World Cup finalist during his time at the club, De Jong moved on to AC Milan in August 2012 and made his last appearance for City in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.
Edin Dzeko 128
After moving to the Etihad Stadium from Wolfsburg in January 2011, Edin Dzeko collected an FA Cup winners’ medal after just five months in Manchester. The striker scored twice in as many appearances in the competition, and marked his league debut against Wolves with an assist – setting up the third goal for Yaya Toure in a 4-3 victory. The Bosnian Diamond netted 19 times in his first full season in a City shirt, including the equaliser against QPR on the final day of an unbelievable 2011-12 campaign, and will be hoping to add to his appearances over the next few weeks and months!
David James 100
James totted up a round 100 appearances for City after a move from West Ham in January 2004, including one memorable game as a striker against under Stuart Pearce! The Blues needed a victory against Middlesbrough at the end of the 2004-05 campaign to qualify for the UEFA Cup, and the unorthodox move nearly succeeded when City won a penalty late on. Used to facing spot kicks, James saved two penalties in his debut season and the Blues went on to win both matches against Wolves and Leicester. The former England stopper left for Portsmouth in August 2006.
Adam Johnson 97
A January transfer window acquisition who signed on 1 February 2010, Adam Johnson racked up 97 appearances in a City shirt after making the move from Middlesbrough. The England international scooped the Man of the Match award on his first start for the club, and later scored the first of his 15 goals with a rocket against Sunderland in the dying minutes to earn an unlikely point. Johnson made 26 league appearances during the title-winning campaign, and also collected FA Cup and Community Shield medals during his time at the Etihad, before departing for the Black Cats in August 2012.
Robbie Fowler 86
After a slow start to his City career, which began in January 2003, Robbie Fowler scored 27 goals for the club during his three year stay in Manchester. The England striker finished as the club’s joint top scorer in the 2004-05 season, but struggled with injury at the start of the following campaign. He grabbed a hat-trick against Scunthorpe in the FA Cup, and in his penultimate game for the club emerged from the bench to score the third in a 3-1 victory over Manchester United – much to the former Liverpool man’s delight! He returned to Anfield in January 2006.
Shay Given 69
Given made an impressive start to life in the blue half of Manchester when he kept a clean sheet and turned in a Man of the Match performance on his debut against Middlesbrough in January 2009. The Irishman was first choice for the Blues during the 2009-10 season while Joe Hart was gaining valuable experience at Birmingham, and he made his 400th league appearance during the campaign against Aston Villa in October 2009. He made 69 appearances in all competitions between the posts for City, and was handed the captain’s armband while Kolo Toure was away with Ivory Coast.
Georgios Samaras 64
Arriving for a then-record fee for a Greek player in January 2006, Georgios Samaras turned out on 64 occasions for City and found the net 12 times during his two years in Sky Blue. Enjoying mixed fortunes in front of goal, the striker scored his first against Charlton Athletic and also netted against Aston Villa to fire City into the League Cup quarter finals in his debut season. He grabbed braces against West Ham and Everton in the 2006-07 campaign, but swapped Manchester for Celtic in January 2008 after falling down the club’s pecking order.
Michael Ball 63
Left back Michael Ball had been plying his trade with PSV Eindhoven when City swooped for his signature on the last day of January 2007. He scored a solitary goal for the club just two weeks later in an FA Cup tie with Preston North End, and went on to make 63 appearances in all competitions for the Blues. A regular in the side in the 2007-08 campaign, he wore the captain’s armband in the absence of Richard Dunne and Micah Richards. Sadly, his City career was effectively ended in January 2009 by injury and he was released the following July.