Ranking all 23 strikers Tottenham have signed this century from worst to best
Tottenham have spent a hell of a lot of money on a lot of centre-forwards since 2000 – and it’s fair to say their success rate could have been better.
In total, Spurs have brought in 23 out-and-out strikers in that time. Some of them turned out to be good signings, some were great and some – well, lots – were absolute disasters.
Starting with said disasters, we’ve ranked each of them, and we’re pretty sure it’ll make you Spurs fans appreciate Harry Kane more than ever.
23. Grzegorz Rasiak
The definition of a panic buy. In desperate need of a forward, Spurs signed Rasiak from Derby on deadline day in August 2005 for just over £3million. They quickly regretted it.
Presumably realising he wasn’t cut out for that level, Martin Jol played the Polish striker just eight times, and Rasiak responded with no goals. Just over half a year later he joined Southampton, costing £2million. At least Spurs got that from him.
22. Clinton N’Jie
Not one of Pochettino’s finest moments. N’Jie was signed for £8.3million in August 2015 after impressing at Lyon. However, he struggled for playing time and then tore his MCL in December.
The Cameroon international recovered by the end of the season but was firmly outside of the first-team picture. By the time he left for Marseille, he had made 13 appearances and scored no goals. Decent.
21. Mounir El Hamdaoui
He was signed for just £675k, scored in some friendlies and helped Spurs win the prestigious Peace Cup (nope, us neither).
On the flip side, he never scored or even played in a competitive game for the club before leaving after a year. At least he was fairly cheap, eh?
20. Andy Booth
Speaking of cheap, Booth was signed on loan from Sheffield Wednesday amid an injury crisis in 2001 despite having gone 16 games without a goal. Anyway, he went on to play four times for the club, scoring a grand total of zero goals.
19. Vincent Janssen
We’re in the big leagues now. By that, we mean we’re on to players that scored a goal for the club. Vinnie was signed for £17million after an excellent season at AZ to be back up to Harry Kane. However, an injury to the Englishman thrust Janssen into the spotlight, and he thrived.
Just kidding. He was crap. His first league goal didn’t come until the end of October when he scored a penalty against Leicester, while he failed to score from open play until March. He was then loaned out to Fenerbache for the 2017-18 season, was injured for most of 2018-19 and sold to Monterrey for around £6million at the end of it.
18. Helder Postiga
After signing Postiga for a fee of up to £8million, Glenn Hoddle said the fans “would enjoy watching him over the coming seasons”. As far as predictions go, that’s a pretty bad one.
Postiga spent one season in North London, scoring two goals in 23 appearances before returning to Porto. In all fairness to Hoddle, we’re sure the fans enjoyed seeing that.
17. Bobby Zamora
Zamora joined in the same transfer window as Postiga and was equally as effective. The only consolation is that he was considerably cheaper, costing just £1.5million.
He scored just one goal in 18 appearances for the club before being sold to West Ham. On the bright side, that sale brought Jermain Defoe to the club, so it’s not all bad.
16. Eidur Gudjohnsen
There’s not much to say about this one. He joined on loan, scored two goals in 14 games and left.
15. Fraizer Campbell
Campbell joined Spurs on loan as part of the deal to send Dimitar Berbatov the other way and did about as well as you’d expect him to.
Two goals and an assist against Liverpool in the League Cup was a highlight, but he only managed one goal in 10 league games before heading back up north.
14. Roberto Soldado
The fact that Goaldado is so high on this list speaks volumes about the quality of Tottenham’s strikers this century. The club used £26million of the world-record fee they received for Gareth Bale to sign the Spaniard, and it’s fair to say he wasn’t *quite* worth it.
He became a bit of a cult hero at the club but not for his goal-scoring exploits. In his first season, he scored 11 goals in 36 games across all competitions before getting five in 40 the following campaign. Not great for someone who was the club’s record signing at the time.
On the bright side, he’s scored some gloriously sh*t goals since leaving.
Roberto Soldado has just scored this goal for Fenerbache and it's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/JE8mGzXK6g
— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) November 19, 2017
13. Sergei Rebrov
Having been an absolute goal-machine in Ukraine, expectations were high when Rebrov was signed for £11million in 2000. Sadly, he failed to live up to them.
A total of 12 goals in 36 games in his debut season wasn’t too bad, but three in 39 in his second was. Unsurprisingly that brought an end to his time at White Hart Lane.
12. Louis Saha
Harry Redknapp handed Saha a six-month contract in January 2012 and the Frenchman made an excellent start, scoring two against Newcastle and even bagging a goal in the North London derby.
He didn’t do much else after that, though, and was released at the end of his contract.
11. Frederic Kanoute
We’re about halfway through, and things still aren’t looking great, are they? Kanoute joined from West Ham in 2003 and spent most of his time at the club stuck behind Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe in the pecking order.
His goal-scoring record, 21 in 73 games, wasn’t terrible, but he’s not remembered for a great deal, if at all.
10. Fernando Llorente
If based on his league form alone, Llorente would be considerably lower in this list. He scored two goals in 36 games and just wasn’t very good.
He makes the top 10, however, for his role in Spurs’s run to the Champions League final. Not only did he score the winning goal against Manchester City, but he was also crucial in their comeback against Ajax, bullying defenders and allowing to team to be more direct.
It wasn’t enough to earn him a new contract, but it was something.
This may be a wild opinion, but how much of a key player has Fernando Llorente ended up being in the Champions League:
– Changed game at home against PSV, setting up both goals
– Scored late third against Dortmund
– Scored decisive goal at Man City
– Changed game at Ajax #THFC
— Jonathan Veal (@jonathandveal83) May 9, 2019
Mido’s time at Spurs was a tale of two spells. The first was a decent one. Having joined on loan from Roma, the Egyptian scored 15 goals in 40 games, convincing Martin Jol to sign him permanently for around £5million.
Things went downhill from there. He fell out with the manager and scored just five goals in 23 games before leaving for Middlesbrough.
8. Darren Bent
Bent was a club-record signing when he joined for £16.5million in 2007. Yep, that was big money back then. Sadly, he failed to ever really pay it back with his performances.
His first season was a huge disappointment as he only scored eight goals in 36 games. Things did improve in his second as he managed a much more respectable 17 in 43, but all it did is get him a move to Sunderland where, in all fairness, he smashed it, with and without beach balls.
7. Roman Pavlyuchenko
Pavlyuchenko joined Tottenham for £13.5million but never managed to hold down a starting spot. Nevertheless, he still managed a respectable 21 goals in 78 league games.
It was in the cup competitions that he shined, though, as he scored 21 in 35 and remarkably only failed to score in one domestic cup game he played in. In our eyes, he was worth the money for the chant alone.
Spurs on Roman Pavlyuchenko. pic.twitter.com/7wlF3CIrn3
— Football Chants (@FootyFansChants) November 11, 2014
6. Emmanuel Adebayor
Usually, a former Arsenal player wouldn’t be well received at Spurs, but that’s not the case if they hate the Gunners just as much. That was the case when Adebayor joined on loan from Man City, and he quickly became popular at White Hart Lane, scoring 18 goals in his first season.
This earned him a permanent move, and he was typically erratic, as shown by a game against Arsenal where he scored before being sent off seven minutes later.
Still, 24 goals and 61 games from the date he joined permanently was a decent haul and meant he went down as a largely successful signing.
5. Peter Crouch
You may be surprised to see Crouch only make number five in this list considering he was voted as Tottenham’s striker of the decade on Twitter. Just kidding, we’re sure you’re just as aware that that was a p*sstake as we are. Nevertheless, he was still a decent servant for the club.
After heading to North London with Harry Redknapp, the robot managed to get his goal tally into double figures in each of his three full seasons.
He scored some huge ones too, including a late winner against Manchester City in 2010 that gave the club Champions League football and another against AC Milan in 2011 to send his club to the quarter-finals. Oh, and he was a right laugh.
🤩 TEAM OF THE DECADE! 🤩
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 30, 2019
4. Teddy Sheringham
After leaving the club for Manchester United, the Spurs legend returned to White Hart Lane in 2001 on a free transfer, proving to be an excellent signing.
In his two seasons at the club, he was incredibly consistent, scoring 13 in both, which may not look all that impressive, but considering his age at the time and the state of the team, it was.
3. Dimitar Berbatov
Undoubtedly the coolest bloke on this list, if not quite the best, Berbatov became loved at Spurs and throughout the country after joining for just over £10million in 2006. Absolute bargain.
After taking a few months to adapt to English football, he went on to score 23 goals in his first season, being named Tottenham’s Player of the Season and included in the PFA Team of the Year. He maintained that form the following season, again scoring 23 goals and getting his first hat-trick against Reading.
Sadly but inevitably for Spurs, such form earned him many admirers from bigger clubs, and in 2009 Manchester United flexed their financial muscles to snatch him away from North London for just over £30million.
2. Robbie Keane
In his time at Spurs, Keane played in some terrible teams and had to compete with numerous strikers for a starting spot. Despite this, he had an excellent goal-scoring record and was named the side’s Player of the Season on three separate occasions.
In his first six seasons at the club, he never scored fewer than 13 goals and got 22 and 23 in his final two years, being named Premier League Player of the Month in April 2007. The fact that he did all this despite often being dropped for new signings speaks volumes about his ability.
After a poor spell at Liverpool, Keane returned to White Hart Lane and failed to recapture his old form, which is why he doesn’t top these rankings. Still, 122 goals in 306 games is a damn good haul.
1. Jermain Defoe
If we were to include each of the times that Spurs signed Defoe, he’d probably occupy two spots in the top three. That’s how good he was for the club in a total of 11 seasons there. After impressing at West Ham, he joined Spurs at the age of 21 with many hoping he’d be the heir apparent to the likes of Teddy Sheringham and Gary Lineker.
While he never quite reached that level, he was the best striker Spurs had for a while. His first spell saw him score 64 goals in 177 games, be named Player of the Year in 2004 and become one of England’s best goalscorers. They weren’t all tap-ins either.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 4, 2020
After joining Portsmouth in January 2008 and scoring 17 goals in 34 games, Spurs realised the error of their ways and brought him back a year later. His second spell at the club was even better as he scored at least 15 goals in three of them and enjoyed his best ever in 2009-10, finding the back of the net 24 times.
When Defoe left Tottenham for good, he did so as their sixth-highest scorer of all time. He remains one of the club’s best players of the century to this day.