SWP joins QPR and Bellers goes to Anfield
- Wed 31 Aug 2011, 11:06PM
- Posted by David Clayton
Shaun Wright-Phillips has joined newly promoted QPR and Craig Bellamy returned to former club Liverpool.
Both deals were sealed in the closing minutes of the summer transfer window.
SWP has linked up with fellow former Academy graduate and ex-City teammate Joey Barton at Loftus Road after penning a three-year deal with the R's.
A firm favourite with the Blues’ fans, Wright-Phillips has found it difficult to work his way into Roberto Mancini’s plans for this season and with only a year left on his current deal with City, he has decided to move on.
Shaun was quick to pay tribute to the City fans, saying: "I'd like to thank you all for the fantastic backing you've given me over my ten years' service. I won't forget you and a place in my heart will always be sky blue."
Wright-Phillips joined City’s newly-formed Academy in 1998 from Nottingham Forest and became the first player to break into the first-team from Jim Cassell’s embryonic talent factory when he made his debut against Burnley in 1999.
His skill, endeavour and energy soon made him a crowd idol at Maine Road and he quickly became an indispensible member of the senior squad
His efforts at club level did not go unnoticed at international level, either, and he won his first full England cap against Ukraine in 2004. In doing so, he also became the first Academy player to represent England and has won 36 caps to date.
After more than 150 games for City, ‘Wrighty’ joined Chelsea in 2005 for £21m, later admitting that he 'broke down’ on the way to sign for the Stamford Bridge side, after leaving the Blues with a heavy heart.
Though he won his first medals with Chelsea, he always harboured hopes that he could one day return to City and in 2008, his wish came true.
Mark Hughes brought Shaun back to the Blues in August 2008 and he announced his return with two goals in a 3-0 win away to Sunderland, much to the delight of the travelling City fans.
Though a regular in Hughes’ team, Shaun began to drift out of the first XI during Roberto Mancini’s first season and was only occasionally included during the 2010/11 campaign and hasn’t featured at all so far this season.
Mancini said recently: “Shaun is a terrific guy, but he need to be playing football so I hope we can find a solution that is good for him.”
Shaun made a total of 277 appearances for City and scored 46 goals.
Bellamy, meanwhile, broke off from training with the Wales national team to seal a return to Liverpool.
He played with the Anfield side in 2006-07 under then boss Rafa Benitez. A favourite at City with the aforementioned Hughes at the helm, Craig played 40 times and scored a dozen goals after joining the Blues in January 2009.
He spent last season on loan at Cardiff City. Everyone at Manchester City wishes both players success.