Tottenham Hotspur have long carried a reputation for transfer market thriftiness, particularly during the reign of current chairman Daniel Levy, however, in reality, the club ranks among the most lavish spenders of the Premier League era in England.
As one of England’s most-prolific operators in the transfer arena, Spurs have featured readily on betting sites, where punters aim to plot the club’s recruitment strategy with bets in the “player’s next club” markets and as one of the most active teams in the division, there is often money to be made.
Indeed, between the summer of 1992 and the present day, Spurs have splashed out close to £1.5 billion on over 600 new recruits – an outlay that makes them the fifth-highest spending outfit in the history of the Premier League behind Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Littered among those hundreds of deals are incredible success stories, bargain buys and of course, massive transfer flops and below we’ve catalogued the ten most expensive signings that Tottenham Hotspur have ever made.
10. Erik Lamela – from Roma – £27 million (2013)
Erik Lamela moved to Tottenham from Italian side Roma in the summer of 2013 as one of the many signings funded by the world-record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
The Argentinean winger’s flair made him an instant hit with the Spurs faithful and the enigmatic attacker earned cult-hero status by scoring an incredible rabona goal against bitter rivals Arsenal in 2021.
That was the high point in what was a frustrating eight-year spell overall with Tottenham however, and Lamela was sold to Sevilla in Spain in the summer of 2021 in a switch that saw Bryan Gil move in the opposite direction.
9. Sergio Reguilon – from Real Madrid – £27m (2020)
The capture of highly-rated Sergio Reguilon from Real Madrid in the summer of 2020 was seen as something of a coup for Tottenham and the Spaniard starred on his debut in a famous 6-1 win over Manchester United in October the same year.
Reguilon had been establishing himself as first-choice left-back at the club before the appointment of Italian Head Coach Antonio Conte in November 2021. After Conte’s arrival, Reguilon was almost immediately marginalised and he made a swift exit, albeit on loan, to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2022.
8. Roberto Soldado – from Valencia – £27m (2013)
Roberto Soldado had scored over 20 goals in three successive seasons in Spain before Tottenham picked him up in the summer of 2013, though the Spanish poacher never really got to grips with life in the Premier League.
Soldado actually netted on his debut for the club against Crystal Palace and followed that exciting introduction with a brace against Dinamo Tbilisi shortly after, however, it almost all downhill after that.
After netting just six times over the course of his first campaign in England, Soldado’s reputation was in tatters. He never recovered and was sold back to Spain in a cut-price deal to Villarreal two years later in 2015.
7. Steven Bergwijn – from PSV – £27m (2020)
Flying Dutch winger Steven Steven Bergwijn arrived in North London to much fanfare in January 2020 when Tottenham paid a cool £27m to wrangle him away from PSV.
After a debut strike against none other than Manchester City, a glittering Tottenham career was anticipated for the Oranje international, however, Bergwijn quickly fell out of favour and his stock fell further when Antonio Conte was appointed manager last year.
Bergwijn never managed to earn the Italian’s trust and he was sold back to the Netherlands in the summer of 2022 when he was allowed to join Ajax.
6. Giovani Lo Celso – from Real Betis – £28.80m (2020)
Tottenham nabbed crafty Argentinean schemer Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis in August 2019 on an initial loan move which the club decided to make permanent in January 2020 at a cost of £28.80m.
Lo Celso’s technique and close control were easy on the eye, though he struggled to make the transition from an inconsistent youngster to a more reliable performer.
After two up-and-down years in North London, Lo Celso was loaned out to Villarreal in January 2022, where he remains today. A permanent switch away from Spurs is likely to be facilitated soon.
5. Moussa Sissoko – from Newcastle – £31.50m (2016)
Moussa Sissoko’s transfer from Newcastle to Tottenham in 2016 was a real head-turner and it was believed that the marauding midfielder would be a key component in Mauricio Pochettino’s formidable side.
However, the Frenchman took an age to settle at the club and even though he did eventually manage to raise his performance levels for Pochettino, he never fully convinced.
Sissoko did make over 200 appearances for Tottenham during his spell with the club, though he was flogged to Watford in 2021 and was subsequently relegated with the Hornets after his maiden campaign at Vicarage Road.
4. Davinson Sanchez – from Ajax – £37.80m (2017)
Tottenham Hotspur identified Colombian centre-half Davinson Sanchez as a long-term defensive mainstay in 2017 and they concluded a deal for the Ajax starlet that was worth close to £40m.
Sanchez has had both good and bad spells for Tottenham since jetting in from the Netherlands, though he has yet to fully establish himself as first-choice under Antonio Conte and at 26, he’s at an age where his position in the team should be firm.
It speaks volumes that Sanchez cannot make a three-man central defensive unit for Conte and Spurs when everyone is fit.
3. Cristian Romero – from Atalanta – £45m (2022)
Hard-hitting Argentinean defender Cristian Romero swapped Atalanta for Tottenham in the summer of 2022 having impressed enough to earn a permanent move following a strong campaign on loan with the club during 2020/21 season.
The 24-year-old is already an established international and Romero will fly to Qatar later this year to represent an Argentina side that features prominently in the World Cup odds for outright tournament winner.
Romero has a long-term contract with Tottenham which runs until 2027 and the length of that deal shows just how highly Spurs rate him.
2. Richarlison – from Everton – £52.50m (2022)
Richarlison was a major fan favourite at Goodison Park during his time with Everton where the Brazilian’s passion, energy and eye for goal allowed him to produce numerous moments of magic for the Toffees.
Equally impressed by his performances, Tottenham sanctioned a massive move for the attacker in the summer of 2022, parting with an initial £52.50m to bring Richarlison to the capital.
Injury issues have marred his early days with Spurs, though Richarlison’s two-goal showing against Marseille in the Champions League was an indicator of things to come.
1. Tanguy Ndombele – from Lyon – £54m – (2019)
Tanguy Ndombele was considered the “next big thing” to come out of France when Tottenham splashed out £54m to secure his signature ahead of a list of other suitors in 2019. The fee made Ndombele Spur’s most expensive signing ever – earning him a spot in the club’s lengthy list of record-breaking moments.
Ndombele had looked a class above in Ligue 1 with Lyon and his stellar skillset was also on show in the Champions League – a competition that helped to put the Frenchman in the shop window.
However, Ndombele found it tough to adapt to the cut-and-thrust of England’s Premier League and he lasted just two and a half years before he limped back to Lyon with his tail between his legs on loan in January 2022.