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The ten most exciting Tottenham Hotspur signings in the Premier League era
Updated 2:39pm Friday 6th June 2014 in News
It's that time of year again - transfer silly season.
Throughout the summer Spurs will be linked with just about every decent player within the club's budget. Throw in a World Cup and the fact the club has a new manager (yes we know that happens more or less every summer) and it is not hard to see why every ITK in the land will link hundreds of players to White Hart Lane quicker than you can say "Moutinho is at Gatwick Airport".
So rather than get bogged down with players who may or may not be gracing the White Hart Lane turf, we thought we would take a look at the club's most exciting Premier League transfers.
Before we begin let's make one thing clear: this is not a list of the best players Tottenham have signed. This is not even a list of players that offered us the most value for our money. This is a list of players who, when we signed them, got us really excited. Got Spurs fans jumping around their lounges punching the air to the bemusement of their wives, husbands and other family members.
Some went on to become club legends, others did not live up to their expectations, but they gave us hope, lit up our summer (or winter) and had us dreaming of the big off kick in August where, inevitably, it all started to fall apart.
10: Robbie Keane. Signed 2002/03 season for £7m.
Just what Glenn Hoddle's Spurs needed and signed from Leeds Utd not long before deadline day. The transfer window had been an odd one with Jamie Redknapp, Jonathan Blondel and Milenko Acimovic being signed when creativity upfront was badly needed. This signing gave us that with fans labelling Keane a 'traditional Spurs forward'. Keane was on the verge of becoming a club legend but it all went wrong when his 'boyhood club' Celtic, err sorry Liverpool, came calling. Keane also went on to play for his other 'boyhood clubs' Aston Villa and LA Galaxy.
9: David Ginola. Signed 1997/98 for £2m.
Had lit up the Premier League for Newcastle United and had Spurs fans drooling with anticipation. Gave us all a much needed lift after Teddy Sheringham swanned off to Old Trafford a month earlier in his selfish pursuit of trophies. Daveeed also gave us hope during a poor summer where players like Frode Grodas were signed. He didn't let us down.
8: Edgar Davids. Signed 2005/06. Free transfer.
Okay, he didn't turn out to be the player that we had all grown to love when playing Fifa 2003 on the Mega Drive but he was a World Class midfielder (in 2003) and continued to build on the feeling of warmth, love and happiness that surrounded Martin Jol's reign (until that cruel, cruel evening in October 2007). We needed a leader and Edgar was ours. Kids turned up to pre-season friendlies at White Hart Lane wearing swimming goggles and dreadlocks and all seemed well. Fans felt the club was finally going somewhere under Jol and Edgar's arrival was the confirmation they needed.
7: Gareth Bale. Signed 2007/08 for £6m.
Arguably the club's best player in the Premier League era. Plenty were after his signature in 2007 but the exciting, slightly odd looking 17-year-old chose Spurs. His signing was announced in May 2007 in the days when the club actually purchased players before the last knockings of transfer deadline day. Kicked off a good summer where Damien Comolli spent the club's money faster than Jol could say: "I don't want him."
6: Jermain Defoe. Signed in 2004 and 2009 for £7m and £15m respectively.
Both his initial signing from West Ham (in January 2004) and then his later transfer back to Spurs (January 2009) following a brief dalliance on the South Coast were celebrated by Spurs fans. When signed from the Hammers he was the hottest prospect in British football scoring goals for fun. West Ham fans were gutted to see him go and got Bobby Zamora as part of the deal which seemed to bring more enjoyment to the White Hart Lane faithful. Spurs fans were largely upset when he was sold to Portsmouth so celebrated his return. Remains the only player we can remember to be applauded after scoring against Spurs (Portsmouth 2 Spurs 0 Sept 2008).
5: Hugo Lloris. Signed 2012/13 for £12m.
A sweeper 'keeper was needed to play AVB's high-line so we went and got the best in the business. A great goalkeeper and the captain of France no less, Lloris was signed on transfer deadline day in August 2012. João Moutinho was widely expected to follow him making this transfer window particularly exciting. Signing Lloris also signalled the end of the club's goalkeeping problems. Heurelho Gomes was a cult hero and top stopper on his day but sadly his day didn't appear to come around too often. Brad Friedel was reliable but he was older than our manager and that was just a little bit weird.
4: Luka Modric. Signed 2008/09 for £16.6m.
Signed early in the summer of 2008 and meant Darren Bent was no longer our record signing (hurrah). Modric had made quite a name for himself at Dinamo Zagreb and had been courted by some European heavyweights, so it was a joy when we rushed in and got the deal done in April 2008 - yes April. We had just beaten Chelsea in the League Cup final and Spurs fans could not wait to see Modric lying behind and feeding our first class forward line of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane. Sadly they had both gone their merry little ways by the end of the transfer window but we weren't to know that at the time and rightly got excited at the thought of Modric, Keane and Berbatov working their magic. Instead, until Ramos got the boot, we got Luka alongside Jermaine Jenas with Fraizer Campbell and Roman Pavlyuchenko upfront. You can't beat a Spurs transfer window.
3: 'The Beatles'. Signed 2012/13 for £103.7m.
'We've sold Elvis and signed The Beatles' said Garth Crooks and not many disagreed. Okay, this wasn't quite accurate because the Beatles were the 'Fab Four' and we signed the over-priced seven of Paulinho, Chadli, Soldado, Capoue, Eriksen, Lamela and Chiriches. Not that anyone was complaining at the time. How we laughed at the Gooners who by mid August had only signed Flamini and Sanogo. Yes not all of them covered themselves in glory and nobody really filled the void left by the departing Gareth Bale but spirits were extremely high as the big kick-off at Selhurst Park approached following our transfer activity. Some pundits even spoke of a title challenge. What fun.
2: Rafael van der Vaart. Signed 2010/11 for £8m.
Two hours before the transfer window closed and not long after Harry Redknapp had wound down the window on his Range Rover to announce there would be no more signings, Spurs landed Dutch midfield maestro Rafa van der Vaart. The Spurs fans outside the training ground danced for joy, Jim White was delirious and Spurs had landed a superstar who wasn’t nearing the end of his career. Just a day before van der Vaart seemed destined for Munich in an £18m deal. That somehow fell through and in swooped Daniel Levy with an £8m offer. Became a huge favourite and always seemed to score in the North London derby.
1: Jurgen Klinsmann. Signed 1994/95 for £2m.
The German goal machine was one of the biggest names in World football and his signing - announced via a photograph of him standing alongside then chairman Alan Sugar on a yacht in Monaco – was celebrated by Spurs fans like no other. He had just scored five goals in the 1994 World Cup finals and was joined at White Hart Lane by fellow World Cup stars Illie Dumitrescu and Gica Popescu which added to the feeling of euphoria. However, it was Klinsmann’s signing that caught the imagination of the Spurs fans and which still remains the club’s most celebrated signing in the Premier League era.
Worthy mentions: Teddy Sheringham: £2.1m in 1992/93. Club legend and one of the most value for money signings in recent times. Teddy was a huge hit at White Hart Lane but things were going very wrong off the pitch which meant his signing was seen as the least the club could do to cheer fans up. Dimitar Berbatov: £10.9m in 2006/07. Very popular player and, like Teddy, would probably make a top ten list of the best signings the club has made. But again, there was no dancing in the street when Dimitar was signed. It was only when he started playing that we realised what a player he was. Signed during a very busy window when players were leaving the club left, right and centre. Michael Carrick: £2.5m in 2004/05. We had an awful lot of midfielders at the time so maybe his signing was seen as unnecessary. However, he transformed the way we played and pushed us towards Champions League qualification. Signed for pittance and sold for £18m, he was an astute bit of business, but again there were no huge celebrations when his transfer was announced – just another signing from West Ham. It was almost expected.
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