It’s a fact Spurs have not always been the greatest side in the Premier League since its inception in 1992 but one thing cannot be denied – regardless of our finishing position some truly great players have arrived at White Hart Lane.
Here is a rundown of what I believe to be the top seven signings by Spurs in the 20-year history of the Premier League. If you don’t agree, feel free to leave your comments underneath this article!
7. Dimitar Berbatov
Signed from Bayer Leverkusen for £10.9 million in 2006
Not everybody’s popular choice given the way he left Spurs to join Manchester United in 2008 but Berbatov was an inspired signing by manager Martin Jol. He took a little time to adapt to life in the Premier League but managed a goal two minutes into his home debut against Sheffield United and proved a class act in the club’s run to the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup – scoring five goals in five group stage matches.
He ended his first season in North London with 12 goals in 33 Premier League matches but his form in Europe saw that rise to 23 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions. The Bulgarian will be remembered for his four-goal haul in a remarkable 6-4 victory against Reading in December 2007 and his League Cup final appearance later that season against Chelsea. His penalty levelled the score at 1-1 with Spurs going on to win 2-1 after extra time.
6. Luka Modric
Signed from Dinamo Zagreb for £16.5 million in 2008
Under the manager who bought him, Juande Ramos, Modric was stifled in a defensive role not suited to his build but the Croatian has flourished under Harry Redknapp in a more attacking role. Comfortable on the left, the middle or as a second-striker, Modric has left managers of rival Premier League sides drooling with his vision, passing range and creativity.
Modric, voted Fans Player of the Year for the 2010-11 season, looked to be on the verge of a move to Chelsea last summer but the Blues had two bids rejected. Modric did not play in Spurs’ opening match this season against Manchester United but has since been an influential player scoring three goals and creating six assists so far – statistically better than last season.
5. Darren Anderton
Signed from Portsmouth for £1.75 million in 1992
Despite an injuy-plagued career, earning him the nickname “sicknote”, Anderton racked up 299 appearances in the Premier League for Spurs, scoring 34 goals. Despite being linked with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Leeds United during his time at White Hart Lane, he remained loyal to the club that made him a star of English football.
A 1995-96 season ravaged by injury saw Anderton net twice in a 3-1 victory at Leeds and he won the League Cup in 1999, playing the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 final victory against Leicester City. He reached the final again with Spurs in 2002 but only collected a runners-up medal this time following a 2-1 defeat by Blackburn Rovers. He went on to play for Birmingham City in the Premier League before dropping down a division with Wolves and again to finish his career at Bournemouth.
4. Robbie Keane
Signed from Leeds United for £7 million in 2002 and Liverpool for £12 million in 2009
So good Spurs signed him twice! Keane was signed by Glenn Hoddle who claimed White Hart Lane would be the player’s “spiritual home for years to come” – he was correct! Keane was prolific during his first spell at the club and 82 goals in 197 league appearances made him a favourite for punters using free bets to back him in the first goal scorer market for six seasons!
On occasions, he found himself out of favour despite consistency in front of goal but fought his way back into the side each time. Keane won the League Cup in 2008 before joining Liverpool that summer for £19 million. Barely six months at Anfield passed before Keane was back in north London and scored 11 goals in 41 league appearances, bringing his total to 93 in 238 appearances. A fantastic servant to the club in anybody’s book.
3. David Ginola
Signed from Newcastle United in 1997 for £2.5 million
French winger Ginola played the best football of his career at White Hart Lane during a difficult time for the club in the late 1990s. The 1998-99 season famously saw him score a memorable goal against Barnsley in the sixth round of the FA Cup. He also won a domestic trophy with Spurs that season, the League Cup and he scored a long-range goal against Manchester United in the quarter finals.
That season saw Ginola showered with accolades and he was named both PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Football Writers Player of the Year. He was disappointed to leave the club in the summer of 2000 when Aston Villa had a bid accepted but he was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Game in December 2008.
2. Jurgen Klinsmann
Signed from AS Monaco in 1994 for £2 million and on loan from Sampdoria in 1998
A genuine world class talent joined Spurs when Klinsmann rocked up at White Hart Lane. He was in the public consciousness after starring for Germany in the World Cup that year and brought with him added pantomime due to his reputation for diving. He spent just one season at the club but scored 20 goals in the Premier League and 29 in all competitions.
Spurs finished seventh that season but still some way off European qualification. Klinsmann provided the excitement during the club’s FA Cup run, scoring a late winner against Liverpool in the quarter finals and during a 4-1 semi-final defeat against eventual winners Everton.
With the club struggling against relegation during the 1997-98 season, Klinsmann returned to the club on loan and gave Spurs an instant lift. He scored nine goals in 15 matches, including four against Wimbledon to ensure another season in the top flight.
1. Teddy Sheringham
Signed from Nottingham Forest in 1992 for £2.1 million and on a free transfer from Manchester United in 2001
Sheringham was always considered to have an extra yard of pace in his head, rather than his feet, something which ensured he played professional football into his 40s. He topped the first ever Premier League goal scoring charts with 22 goals (including one for Nottingham Forest) and went on to become one of the best strikers in England. Indeed, Jurgen Klinsmann described him as the most intelligent strike partner he had played alongside.
After 76 goals in 166 appearances for Spurs and at 31-years-old, it was thought Sheringham was past his best. However, he joined Manchester United in a £3.5 million deal and went to make more than 100 league appearances for them. Glenn Hoddle brought him back to White Hart Lane on a free transfer in 2001 and scored 10 goals that season to help the club to ninth in the table – their best finish in six years.
Sheringham reached the League Cup Final with Spurs in 2002 but were beaten by Blackburn Rovers. His two spells at the club yielded 98 goals in 236 league appearances. Spells at Portsmouth, West Ham United and Colchester United before he retired from playing at the end of the 2007-08 season at 42-years old.
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