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Tottenham transfer news: Spurs’ 10 most expensive transfers of all time

Martin Macdonald
James Maddison, Tottenham
© ProShots

Over the past 15 years or so, the fabled ‘Top Four’ in the Premier League has extended to being a ‘Top Six’ and part of the reason for that is Tottenham‘s emergence as a force to be reckoned with.

As well as reaching the Champions League final in 2019, Spurs have been able to establish themselves as a team to be feared domestically, although they remain trophyless since 2008.

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They now have one of the most impressive stadiums in the world, as well as an expensively assembled squad.

Below, FootballTransfers runs through Tottenham’s most expensive signings in history.

10. Giovani Lo Celso – €32m (from Betis, 2020)

Giovani Lo Celso was excellent for Real Betis in La Liga, which convinced the Spanish side to buy him permanently from PSG following his loan summer at the club.

However, the Argentine didn’t last long in Seville as Tottenham subsequently bought him for an even bigger fee in the same summer.

Giovani Lo Celso, Tottenham
© ProShots – Giovani Lo Celso, Tottenham

But, he was unable to replicate his La Liga form in England and struggled to make his mark in north London. When Antonio Conte took over at Spurs, the writing was on the wall for Lo Celso, who joined Villarreal on loan in 2022 before returning to Tottenham the following summer.

9. Moussa Sissoko – €35m (from Newcastle, 2016)

This was a strange signing, but Moussa Sissoko is, after all, a World Cup winner and he’d impressed for France during their run to the 2016 European Championship final.

When he was on form, Sissoko was a truly formidable force in midfield, but those days were few and far between at Tottenham and after five years at the club, he left to join Watford in 2021.

The midfielder left Spurs having made 202 appearances for the club, scoring five goals.

8. Micky van de Ven – €40m (from Wolfsburg, 2023)

Tottenham endured a disastrous defensive record during the 2022-23 season and moved to shore up the backline in the summer of 2023 by signing young Netherlands centre back Micky van de Ven.

The Dutchman had emerged as one of the most promising defenders in the Bundesliga during two years at Wolfsburg and his speed was seen as one of the main reasons why Spurs were willing to spend €40m on him.

Micky van de Ven joined Tottenham in 2023
© ProShots – Micky van de Ven joined Tottenham in 2023

7. Pedro Porro – €40m (from Sporting, 2023)

Tottenham signed former Manchester City right-back Pedro Porro from Sporting CP on January 2023 Deadline Day.

Porro joined Spurs on an initial loan deal, but the north London club made the deal permanent for €40m at the end of the 2022-23 season.

He made 98 appearances during his time at Sporting, netting an impressive 12 goals and 20 assists from right-wing-back.

6. Davinson Sanchez – €42m (from Ajax, 2017)

Colombia international Davinson Sanchez was one of the most promising young defenders in the world when Tottenham paid Ajax €42m to sign in 2017.

Spurs were banking on the fact that Sanchez would make good on his early promise to become one of the best defenders in the world, but it didn’t work out that way.

He had a tendency to lose concentration in games and, unfortunately for him, that never went away with age. He was sold to Galatasaray in the summer of 2023.

5. James Maddison- €46.3m (from Leicester, 2023)

Tottenham’s marquee signing of the 2023 transfer window was James Maddison from Leicester City.

James Maddison left Leicester to join Tottenham for €46.3m in 2023
© ProShots – James Maddison left Leicester to join Tottenham for €46.3m in 2023

Maddison had developed into one of the most creative attacking midfielders in the Premier League during his time with the Foxes, and was heavily linked with a move to Newcastle before Spurs swooped to land him.

The England international left Leicester with 96 goal contributions in 203 games and won the Premier League ‘August Player of the Month’ just weeks after joining Tottenham.

4. Christian Romero – €50m (from Atalanta, 2022)

Christian Romero joined Spurs on loan from Serie side Atalanta in 2021 and started 21 Premier League games as Tottenham finished above Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League in his first season in north London.

The Argentine impressed on the right of Antonio Conte’s back three and Tottenham exercised the option to make his deal permanent for €50m in the summer of 2022.

He went on to help his country win the Qatar World Cup just months after joining Spurs on a permanent deal, and was made vice-captain by Postecoglou in 2023.

3. Brennan Johnson – €55m (from Nottingham Forest, 2023)

Tottenham did the unthinkable in the summer of 2023 as they sold their record goal-scorer and club legend Harry Kane to Bayern Munich.

Needing a replacement, Spurs moved for exciting young Nottingham Forest attacker Brennan Johnson in the closing hours of the transfer window.

Although not a like-for-like replacement for Kane, Johnson had impressed in his first season in the Premier League with Forest, netting eight league goals as Steve Cooper’s side avoided relegation.

Brennan Johnson left Nottingham Forest to join Spurs
© ProShots – Brennan Johnson left Nottingham Forest to join Spurs

2. Richarlison – €58m (from Everton, 2022)

Richarlison was keen to leave Everton after four years at the club, during which he scored 53 goals in 152 games, and his potential availability attracted the attention of Spurs, who wanted to sign an able back-up for the aforementioned Kane.

The forward had also scored 14 goals in 36 Brazil caps at the time of his arrival at Tottenham. However, the €58m initial fee spent on Richarlison didn’t work out during his first season as he scored just one Premier League goal in 2022-23.

Furthermore, the Brazilian was shown three yellow cards for celebrating last-minute goals in the division, but two were ruled out by VAR.

Ange Postecoglou has helped him rediscover his best form, however.

1. Tanguy Ndombele – €62m (from Lyon, 2019)

It was actually seen as a bit of a coup when Spurs snatched Tanguy Ndombele away from Lyon for a cool €62m in the summer of 2019.

The Frenchman had been superb for the French side during the previous season, with his performance against Barcelona at Camp Nou particularly memorable. He was a player with marvellous close control who arguable looked like he belonged on a Futsal pitch rather than a football one.

Unfortunately for Ndombele, he fell out with manager Jose Mourinho and was dropped from the starting XI for a prolonged period of time, while he has also faced accusations over his weight.

Tanguy Ndombele in action for Tottenham
© ProShots – Tanguy Ndombele in action for Tottenham

He was unable to find decent form under Nuno Espirito Santo or Antonio Conte, either, and was sent on a series of loan moves, including to Galatasaray for the 2023-24 season. A disaster of a deal, really.

The 10 most expensive Tottenham signings of all time

Player From Fee Year
1. Tanguy Ndombele Lyon €62m 2019
2. Richarlison Tottenham €58m 2022
3. Brennan Johnson Nottingham Forest €55m 2023
4. Christian Romero Atalanta €50m 2022
5. James Maddison Leicester €46.3m 2023
6. Davinson Sanchez Ajax €42m 2017
7. Pedro Porro Sporting €40m 2023
= Micky van de Ven Wolfsburg €40m 2023
9. Moussa Sissoko Newcastle €35m 2016
10. Giovani Lo Celso Real Betis €32m 2020

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