Are Thaksin Shinawatra era players Manchester City's best?

Pablo Zabaleta once again proved his worth to the Premier League champions this weekend by scoring the only goal in the FA Cup tie with Stoke City. Signed a day before the Abu Dhabi takeover are the likes of him and Vincent Kompany actually City's best players?

Manchester City have spent big in the transfer market in recent years looking to build a team of superstars that can dominate English football for years to come. Last season they went one step toward that goal with a Premier League triumph courtesy of ‘that goal’ by Sergio Aguero.

However this weekend against Stoke it was once again left to one of their less illustrious stars to earn the plaudits. Pablo Zabaleta capped off yet another fine performance with the winning goal at The Britannia Stadium to book City a place in the next round of the FA Cup.

While the obvious talent that the likes of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and David Silva possess are clear to see there is a real argument to be had for Pablo Zabaleta actually being City’s best player.

Of the players in the current squad there is little doubt that nobody puts in consistently solid performances quite at the level of the Argentine international. He has earned a spot at right-back and his energetic displays are the cornerstone of the clubs recent success.

If a case was going to be made for a player more important and consistent for City then Zab it would have to be their captain Vincent Kompany. The Belgian defender was easily the Premier League’s best defender last season and his impact has been similar to that of Nemanja Vidic across-town during his prime.

So City fans must thank the Abu Dhabi United Group for providing the funds to bring in such talented individuals.

However neither of these two City stalwarts were brought in by their UAE owners; in fact the purchase of both players came from the pocket of disgraced and exiled former owner Thaksin Shinawatra. Mark Hughes was the manager who decided to bring the two players to Eastlands shortly after his appointment as a replacement for Sven Goran Eriksson in 2008. In fact Zabaleta signed just a day before the quick-sale takeover was confirmed.

So while Shinawatra remains on the run from his native Thailand two of the players his ownership oversaw the recruitment of have remained integral members of the Manchester City juggernaut.

Are Zabaleta and Kompany Manchester City’s best players?

image: © imbecillisalad

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