Best Manchester City Midfielders of all time
They may have some of the best midfielder in the Premier League now, but let’s take a look at the club’s history to see who are the best Manchester City midfielders of all time?!
It’s no secret that Manchester City have been experiencing a Golden Age in the past decade, thanks to the huge investments that Sheikh Mansour has done on the club, and therefore they have been constantly winning silverware and attracting high profile players. Obviously no team can achieve greatness without having all the right players, especially the ones that control the heartbeat of the game, the midfielders.
So we have tried to look at different eras of the club, from their previous Golden years in the 60s till now, and see who are actually
the best Manchester City midfielders of all time
, what were their traits and the success they achieved with the club. So without any further ado, let’s see who is on our list:
Best Manchester City Midfielders Ever
Some of the best Manchester City midfielders ever on our list have also been featured in our best Premier League Midfielders article we did a while ago, but let’s see who else is on this list?!
the player with the least amount of experience amongst
all-time best Manchester City midfielders
is the Portuguese left-footed playmaker, Bernardo Silva, who has in his short time with the club established himself as a world-class midfielder. Although Silva is a product of Benfica academy, he never got to play many games for them, instead his time at Monaco was where he truly developed into the player he is today.
After having a great season at Monaco in 2016-17, where they won the Ligue 1 and beat Manchester City to reach the semi-finals of Champions League with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar on their side, Silva then agreed to join Manchester City, who were now being managed by Guardiola. He has been featured heavily in the first team since then, making more than 50 appearances every season.
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Although Silva’s best season at the club would not be his debut season where they won the league and were dubbed the Centurions, but rather his second season where he scored 13 goals in all competitions, were named City’s Player of the Year, made the EPL Team of the Season and also made it into top 10 in Ballon d’Or trophy.
2 Premier Leagues, 3 League Cups and an FA Cup later, Bernardo Silva has become one of the best Manchester City midfielders of all time and by being only 26 he has a long way to go and may even top the achievements of some other players on this list. His creativity, dynamite of a left foot and his winning mentality will help him achieve great things, but for now we have to just wait and see.
Georgi Kinkladze may not have won as many trophies with Manchester City as some, but his impressive technique and outstanding performances for Manchester City, in a time that the club were in trouble, were a source of joy to fans and for that he has earned a place as one of
the best ever Manchester City midfielders
. Although the Georgian’s time at the Maine Road was relatively short as he only played for the Cityzens for 3 years between 1995 and 1998.
Kinkaladze joined Manchester City in 1995 as they were on their way to going on the worst run of performances in the history of the club, which would eventually see them being relegated to the third tier of English football, but Kinkaladze brilliance and the entertaining way of playing was one of the few bright spots of those years for the City fans. The left-footed playmaker always seemed like he had the ball glued to his laces as he danced his way through defenders, like he did against Southampton in what was one of the most beautiful goals in club’s history.
Kinkaladze did not win any major trophies with Manchester City and only played in the Premier League for 1 season before City was relegated and decided to leave City and join Ajax, two years after when they got relegated once again. He would come back to Premier League to play for Derby but it was for his time at Manchester City that he will be remembered fondest. He represented the club 118 times and scored 22 goals and wrote himself in club’s history as one of the best Manchester City midfielders of all time.
Son of England and Arsenal legend Ian Wright, Shaun Wright-Phillips was once on the path to become a legend himself but unfortunate transfer choices hindered his career quite a bit. Nonetheless his time at Manchester City, where he established himself as a rising young star, has made him one of the greatest Manchester City midfielders of all time.
Wright-Phillips, who was a product of Nottingham Forest and Manchester City’s academies, actually spent two separate spells in Manchester City, with a 3-year spell at Chelsea. Overall he made 275 appearances for Manchester City and scored 47 goals as a right sided midfielder or later as a winger.
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At his prime the diminutive Shaun Wright-Phillips was one of the fastest players in world football. He was also an incredible dribbler. But what surprised most was his ability to score from long distances, since his small stature fooled many. But in reality he had an absolute rocket of a right foot as evidenced by the goals he scored against Arsenal and Liverpool in his first Spell at Manchester City.
After 10 season with Manchester City, which included a relegation and the subsequent promotion to the Premier League, and 4 Manchester City Player of the Year awards later, Shaun Wright-Phillips finally won a major trophy in his last season at the club, which would be the 2010-11 FA Cup trophy. He decided to join QPR the following season, leaving the club a legend and one of
the best Manchester City midfielders of all time
, who helped them get back on their feet in their worst time.
Manchester City’s current club captain comes next in our list of
all-time best midfielders at Manchester City
. The Brazilian defensive midfielder has quietly, but effectively climbed the footballing ladder playing for 3 different clubs in his career. first in his country at Atlético Paranaense, where he established himself, then a move to Europe and Shakhtar Donetsk and finally, after winning 6 league tites and a Europa League with Shakhtar, his big move to Manchester City in 2013.
Throughout his previous 7 seasons at Manchester City, Fernandinho has been featured heavily, constantly making 40 or 50 appearances every season without any long-term injury. That’s partly due to the fact that he seems to be an ultimate defensive utility player, as he can operate as a box-to-box midfielder, defensive midfielder or even a center-back. His solidity in the middle of the park, thanks to his ability to read the game and intercept play, has allowed many creative City players to roam freely, knowing that Fernandinho has their back.
Fernandinho has appeared in 320 games for Manchester City and has scored 23 times for the Sky Blues. In the previous 7 seasons, He has won 3 Premier League titles, 5 League Cup trophies and an FA Cup. He has also been named in the PFA Team of the Season in 2018-19 but It seems like his eighth season at the Etihad stadium would be his last and it we’ll just have to wait and see if he’ll ad to those honors. As it stands though, Fernandinho is certainly one of the best Manchester City midfielders of all time.
Kevin de Bruyne
Last season Kevin De Bruyne picked up the Best Midfielder in Europe award and he was in the best form of his career, and even though has only been at Manchester City for a short amount of time, playing only 232 games for the Cityzens, because of his immense quality and delivery on the pitch he is considered to be one of the all-time best Manchester City midfielders.
Manchester City’s current vice-captain started his journey in the Premier League not at Manchester City but rather at Chelsea back in 2013, he did not figure into Mourinho’s plans back then and he decided to leave in the January of that year after making 3 only appearances Chelsea. His subsequent move to Wolfsburg, where he showed his qualities and improved upon his game significantly, was enough for Manchester City to make a move for him, which brought de Bruyne back to the Premier League in 2015.
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Although his first season at City was successful, with 7 goals and 9 assists in 25 matches, it was after the arrival of Pep Guardiola, that de Bruyne became the player he is today as Guardiola built the team around him and De Bruyne became the mastermind in the attack and their chief playmaker. With City, De Bruyne won the Premier League twice and on both occasions, playing a huge part in their success. With the help of de Bruyne City even managed to pick up 100 points in 2017-18 an be called the Centurions.
De Bruyne’s excellent vision which allows him to create chances from literally anywhere has made him one of the best players of his generation. He has assisted 67 times in 158 appearances in the EPL. In the 2019-20 season he matched the record set by Thierry Henry in 2002-03 season by making 20 assists. He has won 2 Premier League titles, 4 League Cups and an FA Cup with Manchester City and has more than earned his place amongst best Manchester City midfielders of all time. de Bruyne has certainly the potential to rise up even higher on this list, we’ll have to just wait and see.
The first player from the 1960s glory days of Manchester City to appear on our list of
greatest Manchester City midfielders of all time
is the great Alan Oakes, who joined the club in 1959 and would spent his entire career at the top tier of English football in Manchester City until he left the club in 1976.
Oakes started his career at Manchester City when he was 17 and immediately he was being used regularly in the first team, but City’s fortunes were about to take a hit as they got relegated in the 1963-64 season and would stay there for three seasons. Oakes was instrumental in helping them win the Second division in 1965-66 season and securing promotion. By then he was a regular and enjoyed an excellent partnership with another City legend, Collin Bell, in the midfield.
After being back to the First Division and staying up in their first season, in 1967-68 season, Oakes and Manchester City did the near impossible and won the league, a feat which would not happen again until 2011. He would go on to win 2 League Cups, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup and 1 FA Cup with City, becoming one of their most decorated players ever and certainly one of the best Manchester City midfielders of all time and despite Manchester City’s recent resurgence, Oakes will always remain one of the club’s legends.
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One of the most complete midfielders in the Premier League era and one of the best African players of all time is none other than Manchester City’s Yaya Toure. Arriving from Barcelona in 2010, Toure soon became involved in everything that happened on the pitch for Manchester City and he was able to help Man City become title contenders and then eventually win it.
Manchester City were building a team that aside from Toure had players like Kompany, Silva and Aguero, whom made the spine of a City team that would dominate the league. Toure was someone that linked all these players together, as he had defensive qualities, creativity and the ability to score goals. it’s safe to assume that his prime at City was the 2013-14 season where he scored an incredible 20 goals in the league and assisted 9 more which helped City win the league.
With 4 African Footballer of the year award to his name and also the fact that he captained Ivory Coast to Africa Cup of Nations victory in 2015, as well as 3 Premier League titles, 2 League Cups and 1 FA Cup Toure has truly become a legend in both his home country and Manchester City. He is one of the finest players that Premier League has ever seen and certainly one of the best Manchester City midfielders of all time.
David Silva is the very image of a Spanish midfielder, possessing great technique, vision and the ability to score goals. he has been playing the role of a playmaker in both in Manchester City and the Spain national team, for years. He joined Manchester City from Valencia in 2010 and immediately helped transform Manchester City into title contenders. He had already won an important trophy with the Spain National Team in 2008, by picking up the Euros, so he just transferred that winning mentality to Manchester City.
This resulted in an unprecedented league win for Manchester City in 2011, in what a 44-year wait for the coveted trophy. Silva became the top assist provider that season, helping them immensely on their way to glory. He then proceeded to win 3 more Premier League titles, as well as 5 League Cups and 2 FA Cups with Manchester City which makes him one of the most decorated players amongst the best ever Manchester City midfielders.
Having scored 35 goals and made 29 assists in 125 appearances for his country, Silva has helped them win the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro. His partnership with Xavi and Iniesta has become infamous for its sheer amount of quality and creativity and it has led Spain to 3 consecutive international tournament victories, making David Silva one of the most successful Spanish internationals ever.
In 436 matches for Manchester City, Silva has scored 77 goals (60 goals and 93 assists in the Premier League) and he has certainly become one of the best midfielders in the Premier League era. After 10 years with Manchester City, Silva has recently decided to move on to Real Sociedad but because of his services for Manchester City, as one of their all-time greatest players and best Manchester City midfielders of all time, the club announced last year that they are planning to erect a statue of David Silva outside the Etihad Stadium, therefore immortalizing El Mago in the perfect way, turning him into a living legend.
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Few people would argue with the fact that Colin Bell is the greatest Manchester City player of all time, so it’s no surprise that he is our choice of
best Manchester City midfielders ever
. Much like Alan Oakes, Colin Bell was part of the successful team that won the league in the 60s, but he joined them from Bury later than Oakes, when they were already in the Second Division in the 1965-66 season.
Touted as one of the most talented and complete English midfielders of all time, Bell established himself in Manchester City right away and helped them win the Second Division title in his debut season. He then went on to become their talisman and star player as they won the League in 1967-68 season, winning the Manchester City Player of the Year award that season.
He was described by many of his contemporaries as a player that had everything, making him a perfect midfielder, able to defend, pass, shoot and create chances. He was the engine that drove Manchester City in their successful days and helped them win several trophies. His partnership with Alan Oakes in particular was something that made that team so successful. Although Bell was a more accomplished international than Oakes, as he represented England 48 times and was a big part of their World Cup Squad in 1970.
In his 14 seasons at the Maine Road, Colin bell help Manchester City win 1 First Division title, 1 Second Division title, 1 League Cup, 1 FA Cup and a European Cup Winners’ Cup. He was also quite the proficient goal scorer, having scored 153 goals for Manchester City in his 498 appearances, which is an excellent record for a midfielder. He is considered to be the best Manchester City player of all time and he is certainly our pick to top the list of
the best Manchester City midfielders of all time
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