Tottenham’s most expensive signing every season since 2010 – Fazio, Son…

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Federico Fazio in action for Tottenham Hotspur against Inter Milan. Allianz Arena, Munich, July 2015.

Under the chairmanship of Daniel Levy, Tottenham have mostly been reluctant to pay massive transfer fees. But they have splashed out on occasion. The question is, has it worked?

Levy is a notorious transfer market wheeler-dealer, driving a hard bargain with buying clubs and running deals right down to the wire when he’s bringing players in for Spurs.

It has caused much frustration among the Tottenham fanbase over the years  – as have some very poor acquisitions.

But, to be fair, there are times Spurs have recruited well. To see how many times, we’ve looked at their most expensive signing for every season since 2010-11.

Sandro & Rafael van der Vaart (both £8million)

The 2010 summer also saw the arrivals of William Gallas, Steven Pienaar and Bongani Khumalo (no, us neither), so Tottenham’s two most expensive signings were also their best.

Van der Vaart was an absolute delight, scoring 28 goals in the two seasons he spent at Spurs and becoming a White Hart Lane terrace hero. He pretty much epitomised the laissez-faire, just-fucking-run-around attitude of Harry Redknapp’s side, floating in from wide or lining up just off Peter Crouch to great effect.

Sandro, meanwhile, was a powerhouse in his early days at the Lane before injuries caught up with him.

He eventually left just as Mauricio Pochettino arrived in 2014 and in 2020 told the Guardian: “That’s the biggest regret of my career, completely. I wish I could have played with Pochettino.

“He improved the players. He took Tottenham to another level. We take decisions in our lives that, if we knew what was going to happen, we wouldn’t take. I got it wrong. I got it wrong and I regret it.”

Scott Parker (£5.5million)

Swivelled a lot. Now looks like he bought his clothes at DFS. Scotty Parker. Solid. Dependable. Not really worth writing much more about.

Mousa Dembele (£15million)

Flush from the sale of Luka Modric, the summer of 2012 saw Spurs go much bigger than in 2011. They also got a lot more for their money.

As well as Hugo Lloris for an initial £12million, they went out and snaffled Dembele, who was absolutely unstoppable at his best.

The strength of an ox, the grace of an angel – nobody in world football could get the ball off him. Probably the most underrated part of the great Pochettino teams.

Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele (centre) shrugs of the challenges of Wigan Athletic's James McCarthy (right) and Callum McManaman. 27 April 2013.

READ: Mousa Dembele: The supercar of a midfielder with a tank’s body count

Erik Lamela (£30million)

Ah, the summer of 2013. The summer that Gareth Bale departed and Spurs had £85million burning a hole in their pocket.

Instead of replacing the Welsh wizard with a single world-class star, Spurs splashed the cash on a ‘Magnificent Seven’: Lamela, Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, Vlad Chiriches, Christian Eriksen, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli.

The combined total outlay was £105million. Most of it was a waste.

Eriksen was obviously great, but Lamela was to only one of the rest who came near the required level. And even he was never quite the full package, hampered by inconsistency and injuries.

Still, he was a brilliant shithouse and scored a bloody rabona in the North London Derby, which is probably worth £30million alone.

READ: Nine times Erik Lamela was the Premier League’s ultimate sh*thouse

Federico Fazio (£8million)

Burned by the previous summer’s shenanigans, Spurs didn’t go mad in 2014. Michel Vorm, Benjamin Stambouli, Ben Davies, Eric Dier and DeAndre Yedlin all signed for less than £5million apiece. Dele Alli joined them in the winter for around that price, too.

The most expensive move was for Fazio. To be honest, though, even at a modest £8million it was probably a bit of a rum deal. Blessed with the turning circle of an oil tanker, the Argentine was just not cut out for English football and was sent off on both his Premier League and European debuts for Spurs.

Son Heung-min (£22million)

Quite possibly one of the best value for money deals in Premier League history. I mean, what more can we say? We absolutely love Son Heung-min.

READ: 17 times Tottenham’s Son Heung-min utterly humiliated opposition players

Moussa Sissoko (£30million)

Daniel Levy will be really glad that he signed Moussa Sissoko for £30milion on summer deadline day 2016, if only because it stops this entire section being about the fact he paid £17million for Vincent Janssenin the same summer.

After initially looking like he might go into the same pile as yer Janssens, yer Soldados and yer Paulihnos, Sissoko eventually came good and was an integral component in the late-Poch machine.

In the midst of the 2018-19 season, in which Sissoko helped Spurs to the Champions League final, Ledley King said: “Obviously we know how big a player Dembele was for the club and how important he was, but I feel that Sissoko has almost filled that space.

“His physical presence in midfield, his power, very difficult to get past in defensive positions. He’s got that driving force that we know ​Dembele did have where he could beat a man and drive past people, Sissoko’s showing that side as well.”

Sissoko did give away a penalty for an early handball in that final, but we’ll forgive him. It was pretty harsh, wasn’t it?

Davinson Sanchez (£42million)

We’ll be honest with you, we’d forgotten Spurs had paid quite this much for the Colombian centre-back.

We still really like him. But we’re probably not in the majority, and that fee does seem a bit steep in hindsight.

Still, Levy somehow managed to convince Stoke to pay £18million for Kevin Wimmer in this same window, which covered a fair bit of the Sanchez fee. Swings and roundabouts.

Umm… nobody (£0)

The infamous summer of 2018, the summer that Levy went full Levy. Spurs got to the Champions League final at the end of this season, but Tottenham Hotspur Football Club recruiting a grand total of zero footballers in the 2018-19 season was really not a great idea.

Tanguy Ndombele (£55million)

After the parsimony of the previous year, and following their Champions League disappointment, Tottenham went out and smashed their transfer record.

Ndombele had been brilliant for Lyon in 2018-19, weaving his magic in the middle of the park, creating chance after chance for Memphis Depay.

Unfortunately, the French midfielder only ever displayed that brilliance in the briefest of flashes for Spurs. As a result, he’s now been shifted back out to Lyon on loan.

There might still be a way back for him at Tottenham. If not, he’ll probably end up best remembered in England for being chased around Hadley Common by Jose Mourinho during lockdown.

Sergio Reguilon (£25million)

Jose Mourinho’s first summer in charge. Lots of business, but no wild fees. Unless you consider £13million for Matt Doherty wild. Thinking about it, it probably is.

Anyway, Sergio Reguilon. He’s good at football. Seems like a decent lad, too. Posts funny stuff on Twitter sometimes. At that price, nobody’s complaining.

Emerson Royal (£25million)

We’ll say it’s too soon to tell whether this deal is good value or not. Others may disagree.

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