x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Santa Cruz sets sights on trophies with City

The Paraguayan striker is delighted to have the opportunity to work with manager Mark Hughes again.

Manchester City's new signing Roque Santa Cruz, right, poses with manager Mark Hughes.
Manchester City's new signing Roque Santa Cruz, right, poses with manager Mark Hughes.

MANCHESTER // Sheikh Mansour said yesterday he would continue to take a patient approach to Manchester City's development. It came on the same day as City unveiled Roque Santa Cruz as their second major summer signing and they confirmed their ongoing interest in the big name players Samuel Eto'o and Carlos Tevez. Sheikh Mansour hopes to see City, who he bought last summer, become one of the most successful teams in England. "We know that will take time, and this is where a patient and pragmatic approach is essential," he said. "We know what we want and are very clear on our internal targets. What we have done in the last 10 months sets the tone of the way we will do things very clearly "We are committed to building a sustainable structure for the future not just a team of all-stars. "We also want to see the academy continue to develop talent and give Mark Hughes the chance to bring home-grown players into the team."

Sheikh Mansour may be looking to the future with City, but they showed no sign of stopping their summer spending spree yesterday. Hughes, the City manager, said the club were still trying to sign Eto'o and Tevez, while the Paraguay forward Santa Cruz completed his £18million (Dh109m) move from Blackburn Rovers. City had already confirmed the £12m signing of Gareth Barry from Aston Villa. "It is my biggest ambition and dream that I have, to win trophies and I am sure we can do it here," said Santa Cruz. "Winning the league will be very hard this season, but it's something that I would love to do in the near future. "It's my dream to win titles and get back into the Champions League. I think everyone here is clear that we want to get into the top four of the Premier League. "To be a big club, you need to start by getting the results. You can tell players from a big team by the way they walk and act. Everybody needs to act as winners and that's what we will become in time. We will play to win every week and try to win things. That is why the decision to come here was so easy." Santa Cruz's competitive debut is likely to come at Blackburn as City are due to open their new campaign at Ewood Park on Aug 15. With Robinho and Craig Bellamy already at Eastlands, and Eto'o and Tevez possible new arrivals, Hughes will have plenty of attacking options. Santa Cruz has no fears about missing out on a first-team place despite such fierce competition. "I think it's accepted as what every big team needs," he said. "There will be a big challenge for everyone to get into the team. "Everyone will perform at their best, and want to show they should be in the team and that will make the squad better. "Everyone will look at the club with different eyes when you see these types of players [like Eto'o and Tevez] coming in. "I am very pleased to be part of this." Hughes is delighted to be reunited with Santa Cruz, having signed him from Bayern for £3.5m when he was in charge at Blackburn. "From the first day he came to Blackburn his qualities were evident and we knew we had an outstanding striker," he said. "He has the qualities in a physical sense that we lacked as a team last season. "He never disappointed me in any game that he played, he gave everything he had. "When people see him in a Manchester City shirt, they will recognise why we wanted him." akhan@thenational.ae