Ranking Jose Mourinho’s 7 signings at Tottenham from worst to best

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Jose Mourinho leaves the pitch during the Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, Liverpool, April 2021.

Jose Mourinho barely lasted 18 months as manager of Tottenham but still managed to make seven permanent signings of varying success during that time.

Mourinho was appointed in November 2019 after Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking and quickly set about revamping a squad that many observers felt had gone stale.

But bringing in the three-time Premier League winner failed to achieve the desired effect at Spurs. After finishing sixth in 2020, Tottenham saw a promising start to the following campaign develop into mid-table mediocrity.

He was relieved of his duties in April 2021, just days before Spurs were due to face Manchester City in the League Cup final, and Mourinho has not worked in English football since.

How much of that failure was down to Mourinho’s signings at Spurs? We’ve ranked all 7 of the permanent arrivals – excluding the likes of Gareth Bale who came on loan – from worst to best in an attempt to find out…

7. Joe Hart

After Spurs were embarrassingly knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb, Hart posted an Instagram story that read: “Job done.”

The former England goalkeeper was on the bench that game, so either he wasn’t paying attention, or just really wanted his team to lose.

It was an incident that led to an awkward video ‘apology’ the next day. It was more memorable than anything Hart produced on the pitch in Spurs colours.

6. Giovani Lo Celso

It never quite worked out for Lo Celso in north London; the midfielder was signed by Mourinho after a successful loan spell but failed to translate his undoubted talent into consistent performances.

Everyone thought it was a brilliant bit of business to bring the Argentina international in permanently but that all seems a long time ago now. Lo Celso is now on loan at Villarreal.

5. Joe Rodon

The Spurs faithful had high hopes for Rodon when he joined from Swansea in October 2020. He was already an international for Wales and had looked excellent in the Championship.

It hasn’t worked out though. The defender managed a few appearances under Mourinho but fell out of favour under Conte and is spending the 2022-23 season on loan at Rennes.

Joe Rodon during the FA Cup match between Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton & Hove Albion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, February 2022.

READ: Tottenham’s last 10 signings from the Football League & how they fared

4. Matt Doherty

Doherty had been brilliant for Wolves, and a great Fantasy Football asset, before Mourinho took him to Spurs in the summer of 2020.

But, as Spurs began to slide down the table, the full-back looked increasingly out of his depth and was perhaps thankful that fans were present in the stadium to barrack him.

The Republic of Ireland international did recover from an awful start to his Spurs career to play an underrated role in their fourth-place finish in 2021-22 but is firmly a bench-warmer nowadays.

3. Steven Bergwijn

Bergwijn promised more than he delivered – eight goals in 83 appearances before being sold to Ajax is testament to that – but no Spurs fan will ever forget his late double to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Leicester in January 2022.

You simply can’t put a price on moments like that.

2. Sergio Reguilon

There was a lot of excitement when Reguilon joined from Real Madrid in September 2020 – and he performed well under Mourinho, in addition to being good value on Twitter.

But the Spain international fell out of favour during the second half of 2021-22, with Antonio Conte preferring Ryan Sessegnon in the left-wing back role.

The 25-year-old slipped to third in the pecking order after the signing of Ivan Perisic and joined Atletico Madrid on loan in September 2022.

Even so, that shouldn’t suppress memories of his excellent season under Mourinho.

1. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

There are some that criticise his technical ability but Hojbjerg is the lifeblood of the Spurs midfield.

The Denmark international played every single minute of the 2020-21 season and established himself as one of Mourinho’s disciples.

“Pierre is, first of all, very intelligent,” Mourinho said in 2020. “He reads the game very well. He’s going to be a coach one day, for sure. He’s a pain, asking questions about why we do this and why we do that.

“On the pitch, he reads the situation very, very well and the people that surround him are really compact, they read the game.

“Physically he’s very, very strong and technically he’s much better than people think. Because sometimes people think the guy that is good technically is the guy that does the backheel.

“The guy that is good technically is the guy that does something wonderful. But these are not my words. These are words from coaches of 30, 40 years ago. Simplicity is genius.”

You can’t say fairer than that.


READ MORE: Ranking Jose Mourinho’s 13 weirdest signings: Falcao, Hart, Djilobodji…