Sport is one of the most lucrative branches of the massive entertainment industry, much bigger than the movie and TV business, estimated to be worth around $500 billion a year. Association football, the sport with the biggest global following, generates a hefty share of this revenue.
The teams make money from many sources, ranging from advertising deals to broadcast rights, not to mention sponsorships. Considering that football is also the world’s leading sports betting market, betting businesses like to pour fortunes into football (and do their best to keep it clean – but that’s a story for another time).
No wonder some clubs spend fortunes on players to strengthen their ranks. The most expensive player in history is Neymar who joined Paris Saint Germain in a transfer worth €222 million (£190 million today) in 2017 – his transfer fee is unmatched to this day.
Spurs have spent small fortunes on players themselves. Not as much as some other teams but still… here are the most expensive incoming players in Tottenham’s history (so far).
5. Lucas Moura
After just two years with Sao Paulo, Moura has proven to be a valuable player with a great dribbling skill that caught the eye of many European clubs. He joined the ranks of PSG in 2012 in a transfer worth £38 at the time and he spent five seasons with the Parisian team, playing in more than 150 league games and scoring more than 30 goals. In January 2018, he left Paris for White Hart Lane in a transfer reported to cost the Spurs £25 million, making him the fifth most expensive player signed by the club.
4. Soldado and Lamela
Soldado and Lamela both joined the ranks of the Spurs in 2013, and the club paid the same amount for them in euros – 30 million. Lamela, the product of Argentina’s River Plate, played with Roma for two years before moving to London, and Soldado spent three years at Valencia before making the move.
Left-winger Heung-min Son moved to London in 2015 for the same amount – in euros, that is, because the fee attached to his transfer was £22 million (against the other two players’ transfer fees, around £26 million each), making him the most expensive Asian player in history.
3. Moussa Sissoko
After graduating from Toulouse’s youth academy, Sissoko spent six seasons playing for the first team before crossing the English Channel in 2013. He spent three seasons at Newcastle United before leaving for White Hart Lane in 2016 – the Spurs paid £30 million to have him. Money well spent, some say, considering that he became a crucial member of the team and one of the best in the last Premier League season.
2. Davinson Sánchez
Davinson Sánchez had the club record transfer until 2019 – two years ago, he joined the Spurs for no less than £42 million. He made his debut at Atlético Nacional before coming to Europe to play for Ajax in 2016. He spent just one season with the Dutch team – during which he was named the best player of the season – before moving on to White Hart Lane in 2017.
1. Tanguy Ndombélé
Sánchez’s record was pretty short-lived: this year, it was broken by the transfer of Tanguy Ndombélé, coming from Lyon. The French midfielder went pro in 2016 with Amiens, where he played for just one season before being loaned to Lyon. Lyon made it permanent in 2018, signing the player for €8 million. He became a true asset for the team. In his first UEFA Champions League match, he played brilliantly against Manchester City, and this put him on the radar of many high-profile clubs, including Real Madrid and PSG. Finally, it was Spurs who signed him, paying £53.8 million for the player.