Hit or miss: Five German Man City players assessed after Sane seals switch
Robbie Purves | August 1, 2016
Trautmann trumps the rest as Boateng flops
Manchester City have completed the signing of highly rated winger Leroy Sane, for a fee understood to be in the region of £37m before add-ons from German outfit Schalke.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 2, 2016
This will take the number of German players to appear for the Sky Blues in the Premier League era to nine, but in the club’s long history, not all have been a unanimous success. Here, Coral football writers cast their eye over whether or not some of these Germans were a hit or miss in Manchester…
Jerome Boateng: Miss
After impressing with Hamburg, earning himself a place in Germany’s 2010 World Cup squad, City pounced for the centre back for a fee of £10.4m on a five-year-deal.
Boateng started strong for the Etihad side, providing an assist for Gareth Barry in a pre-season friendly against Valencia – however, it was downhill from there.
A week until the start of the Premier League season, Boateng suffered an injury on international duty. He tore a tendon in his left knee, which was then aggravated on the plane back to Manchester after a collision with a drinks trolley – setting the precedent for a calamitous tenure at City.
He lasted just one of his five contacted years in Manchester. However, Boateng has transformed into a world class centre back at Bayern Munich, lifting four Bundesliga titles, a Champions League and a World Cup.
With new boss Pep Gaurdiola at the helm, who has won the league title in the first season of every club he has managed, Coral has City 5/2 to lift the trophy this term.
Dietmar Hamann: Hit
In 2006, a year after winning the Champions League with Liverpool, Hamann was given permission to begin talks over a move away from Merseyside.
He initially signed for Bolton Wanderers, but had a change of heart and opted for a switch to Man City instead. He racked up 54 appearances for the Sky Blues and provided a calming, experienced presence to the City dressing room.
The former Bayern Munich man marshalled the midfield well, averaged 4.48 tackles per game and acted as the team’s metronome.
Michael Frontzeck: Miss
The German international left back signed by manager Alan Ball for £350k from Bundesliga side Bochum, was 31 was he came to Maine Road in 1996.
Frontzeck came with pedigree, earning 19 international caps, was a member of the Germany squad that were beaten 2-0 by Denmark in the final of Euro 1992 and won a Bundesliga winners medal with Stuttgart in the same season. However, he never really found that form in Manchester.
A particular low point came when he conceded a penalty to Manchester United’s Eric Cantona, the resultant spot-kick sent the Blues on the way to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of their bitter rivals.
Frontzeck returned to Germany in 1997 with Freiburg, after just 23 domestic appearances.
Uwe Rosler: Hit
In 1994, Rosler joined City on trial. Given his chance, he scored two goals in a reserve match and was given a three-month loan from Nurnberg. Following a return of five goals in 12 games, his place in the squad was made permanent.
In an FA cup match against Notts County he scored four goals, becoming the first Manchester City player to score as many in an FA Cup tie since Johnny Hart in 1953. He finished his first season at Maine Road as the club’s leading goalscorer, winning the club’s Player of the Year award.
After City were relegated in 1996, he opted to stay with the club, but when relegated yet again – this time into Division Two – he left. In his four year tenure in Manchester, he scored 64 goals in 176 appearances and was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2009.
Bert Trautmann: Hit
After impressive performances at St Helens Town where he combined farm work with football, former paratrooper Trautmann was signed in 1949 – sparking protests with 20k people on the streets of Manchester just four years after the end of World War Two.
Gradually he gained acceptance through his performances in the City goal, playing in all but five of the club’s next 250 matches. Trautmann entered footballing folklore with his bravery in the 1956 FA Cup Final. Just 17 minutes into the game, the goalie broke his neck while diving at the feet of Birmingham City’s Peter Murphy.
He played on and performed crucial saves, when he collected his winner’s medal his neck looked visibly crooked. Incredibly, he waited three days to have it X-rayed.
Trautmann won the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year in 1956 and registered 508 domestic games in his 15 year City career. In 2004, he was awarded an OBE for promoting Anglo-German relations through football.