Seb: Tottenham’s Best Value Transfers XI

Seb Jenkins is back with another Spurs column as he selects his Best Value Tottenham Hotspur XI, picking out the best bargains to arrive at White Hart Lane in the 21st century...

Seb Jenkins

With Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici scouring the transfer market for bargains this summer, we wanted to take a look back at the best value captures for Tottenham since ENIC took over in 2001.

While free transfers are included, we have not counted academy talents coming through into the first team like Harry Kane and have attempted to avoid big-money signings, even if they were good value.

  • Goalkeeper – Brad Friedel – Free transfer – 2011/12

Friedel came to Tottenham with a wealth of experience and, even at his ripe old age, turned out 67 times between the sticks for the Lilywhites.

However, judging purely by his performances, you never would have guessed he was coming to the end of his career.

Ever-reliable as Tottenham’s number one and worthy of a place on this list considering Daniel Levy didn’t pay a penny.

  • Right-back – Kyle Walker – £5.31m in 2009/10

Bought from Sheffield United for just over £5m, who knew what Walker would go on to achieve in the game. After a loan spell at Aston Villa, he returned to Spurs and made the marauding right-back spot his own.

His bombing runs down the wing and his incredible recovery pace became a prominent pillar of Tottenham’s most successful period under Pochettino in the league.

Not to mention the fact Spurs made almost nine times his price back when selling to Man City.

  • Centre-back – Eric Dier – £4.5m in 2014/15

Signed from Sporting as a promising youngster in the summer of 2014, Dier hit the ground running with goals in his first two matches.

Since then, he has played at right-back, central midfield, in a back four, and now a central sweeper role. That’s a whole lot of bang for not a lot of buck.

Dier has now made 318 appearances for the Lilywhites.

  • Centre-back – Michael Dawson – £6.3m in 2004/05

With over 320 appearances for Tottenham, Michael Dawson always wore his heart on his sleeve, leaving everything he had out on the pitch.

Considering he played ten seasons with Spurs and was a big part of the first team to achieve Champions League football, just over £6m was an absolute steal.

  • Left-back – Danny Rose – £900k in 2007/08

Signed from Leeds United as a promising left-sided teenager, Danny Rose became a prime example of how scooping up youngsters can pay off in the long-run.

He was on the Tottenham books for 13 seasons before leaving in 2021, racking up 214 appearances, scoring 10 goals and recording 29 assists.

He was Walker’s partner in crime as the wing-backs across those prime Pochettino years, and Spurs didn’t even pay £1m for him!

  • Right-midfield – Aaron Lennon – £1.08m in 2005/06

There is no other competition here. £1m for a winger who played 363 times for Spurs, scoring 30 goals and recording 78 assists… he has to be on this list.

Lennon’s chalk-on-your-boots lightning style of wing play was a fixture at White Hart Lane for so many years, and he remains a fan-favourite.

  • Central-midfield – Dele Alli – £5.97m in 2014/15

There’s a reason Tottenham fans came up with a song about how much of a bargain Dele was.

268 games, 66 goals and 60 assists – Alli was a generation talent in his first few years in North London, it’s just a shame it fizzled out for him.

But he will always be remembered for so many incredible memories, including his headers against Chelsea, brace against Real Madrid, and volley against Crystal Palace.

  • Central midfield – Scott Parker – £5.18m in 2011/12

Scott Parker was everything you want from a defensive midfield player.

He looked after the ball and put his body on the line to protect the goal.

If he didn’t come off the pitch covered in mud and bleeding, he probably didn’t start. Tottenham getting him for just over £5m was an absolute steal.

  • Left-midfield – Gareth Bale – £13.23m in 2007/08

Spurs took a bit of a punt on young Gareth Bale, and it seemed to have backfired in his first few years at the club – especially considering that infamous curse.

However, 237 games, 72 goals, and 60 assists isn’t a bad return in the end – not to mention being sold for a world-record fee. And boy did he leave the Spurs faithful with some memories.

  • Striker – Robbie Keane – £9.45m in 2002/03

Picking up a future club legend for under £10m is always good business, albeit back in 2002 when that was a lot more money.

Keane went on to play 306 games for Spurs, scoring 122 times and striking up a fearsome partnership with Dimitar Berbatov. His celebration alone was worth a couple of million, surely.

  • Striker – Jermaine Defoe – £9.45m in 2003/04

Similar to Keane, Tottenham signed a future club icon in Jermaine Defoe back in 2003.

He went on to become even more potent with 143 goals in 362 games – one of Tottenham’s leading all-time goalscorers. Defoe simply had to make it onto this list.

Bench – Honourable mentions

Hugo Lloris – £11.34m in 2012/13 – For the sheer quality and longevity, Lloris has to be included at just over £10m.

Kieran Trippier – £4.41m in 2015/16 – Under £5m for a right-back who went on to play 114 times, become an England regular, and win La Liga with Atletico. Spurs even made a profit.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto – £4.5m in 2006/07 – Benny played 204 times for Spurs and remains a fan-favourite.

Jan Vertonghen – £11.25m in 2012/13 – See Hugo Lloris.

Tom Huddlestone – £4.23m in 2005/06 – Such sweet shots should come at more of a premium.

Rafa Van der Vaart – £9.45m in 2010/11 – He arrived for a good time, not a long time, and remains a cult hero in N17.

Edgar Davids – Free in 2005/06 – A football legend on a free is never a bad thing.

Christian Eriksen – £12.74m in 2013/14 – Another more expensive one, but Eriksen performed head and shoulders above that price tag, and Spurs even sold for a profit.

Heung-min Son – £27m in 2015/16 – More expensive than the rest, but a bargain when compared to what he has achieved for the club.

Peter Crouch – £9.45m in 2009/10 – That header against Man City was worth a whole lot more than £9.45m alone.

Ivan Perisic – Free in 2022/23 – Fingers crossed…

Leave a comment

Follow SpursWebSeb on Twitter