Football Features

Ranked: Every Tottenham Hotspur striker of the 21st century

By Squawka News

Published: 19:20, 29 January 2022

Tottenham Hotspur possess one of the most dangerous goalscorers in Europe but they haven’t always been so lucky when it comes to strikers.

Since the turn of the century, Spurs have called upon 23 different strikers ranging from big-money moves to academy graduates.

And it’s fair to say that some have done better than the others. You’ll probably be able to guess who’s number one, but what about those that came before?

24. Troy Parrott

Signed from: Academy

Transfer fee: Free

Appearances: 4

Goals: 0

Called up to the first team a handful of times, it’s far too soon to make any kind of judgment on Troy Parrott but, for now, he props the list.

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23. Grzegorz Rasiak

Signed from: Derby County

Transfer fee: £1m

Appearances: 9

Goals: 0

As much a ‘headerer’ as a footballer, Grzegorz Rasiak was simply not up to scratch in the Premier League and didn’t last very long at all – with just six months separating his arrival from Derby and departure to Southampton.

22. Sergei Rebrov

Signed from: Dynamo Kiev

Transfer fee: £11m

Appearances: 75

Goals: 15

It’s the hope that kills you. At the turn of the century Spurs were very much a mid-order Premier League club yet somehow they managed to prise the highly-rated Sergei Rebrov away from Dynamo Kiev in 2001.

Alongside Andriy Shevchenko, Rebrov formed one of the most potent strike-forces in Europe at Dynamo, but he flopped badly in the Premier League.

21. Vincent Janssen

Signed from: AZ Alkmaar

Transfer fee: £18m

Appearances: 42

Goals: 6

Poor old Vinny. In 2016 ago the Dutchman had the world at his feet after top-scoring in the Eredivisie and winning the Johan Cruyff trophy given to Dutch football’s best player under 21.

Buying strikers from Holland can be notoriously hit or miss and it’s safe to say that Janssen, now 27 and at CF Monterrey, belongs with the likes of Afonso Alves and Mateja Kezman in the flop pile rather than with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie in the success section.

20. Helder Postiga

Signed from: FC Porto

Transfer fee: £8m

Appearances: 24

Goals: 2

Fresh from helping Porto win the UEFA Cup, Helder Postiga was on the move to the Premier League for an £8m fee that at the time was a lot to spend on a young, unproven forward.

Postiga found it difficult to get going in England, scoring just twice in 24 games and returned to Porto after just a season.

19. Clinton N’Jie

Signed from: Lyon

Transfer fee: £12m

Appearances: 14

Goals: 0

Clinton N’Jie is regarded more as a winger these days, but he was signed as Harry Kane’s backup in 2015.

The Cameroonian was lightning quick but sadly lacking any kind of end product.

18. Fraizer Campbell

Signed from: Manchester United

Transfer fee: Loan

Appearances: 22

Goals: 3

The very definition of a desperate deadline day signing. Campbell arrived on loan as part of the deal that took Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United. It’s fair to say he wasn’t an ideal replacement, scoring just three goals in 22 appearances.

17. Roberto Soldado

Signed from: Valencia

Transfer fee: £26m

Appearances: 76

Goals: 16

A similar story to Rebrov, really. Roberto Soldado arrived at Spurs with an excellent reputation after scoring goals by the bagful for Valencia but he was unable to acclimatise to English football.

Soldado’s goalscoring form and confidence completely deserted him at Spurs and he is mostly remembered for trying to pass the ball to Nacer Chadli while one-on-one with Fiorentina’s goalkeeper only to succeed with placing it into his hands.

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16. Bobby Zamora

Signed from: Brighton

Transfer fee: £1.5m

Appearances: 18

Goals: 1

Sometimes barely playing is preferable to playing a lot and being awful. Hence Bobby Zamora’s relatively high placing in this list. Bobby Z was used as a makeweight for Jermain Defoe’s deal so was useful, at least and he proved himself elsewhere.

15. Eidur Gudjohnsen

Signed from: Monaco

Transfer fee: Loan

Appearances: 14

Goals: 2

This signing was so Harry Redknapp. An ageing talent with Premier League experience and available on a free, Eidur Gudjohnsen ticked every box as far as Redknapp was concerned. Scored a lovely goal against Fulham and that was about it.

14. Carlos Vinicius

Signed from: Benfica

Transfer fee: Loan

Appearances: 22

Goals: 10

Don’t let the numbers fool you, Carlos Vinicius underwhelmed at Tottenham. Brought on loan from Benfica to provide back up for Kane and a chance for the Englishman to rest, Vinicius started just 10 of his 22 appearances, half of which came in the Europa League. That’s where a lot of his goals came too, netting six against the likes of Ludogorets, Royal Antwerp and Wolfsberger. His loan was not renewed, though some reports claim Tottenham did try.

13. Louis Saha

Signed from: Everton

Transfer fee: Free

Appearances: 12

Goals: 4

This was a bit of a weird signing and indicative of Harry Redknapp’s short-term planning in his final months as Spurs boss, but Louis Saha wasn’t that bad and even managed to score at the Emirates.

12. Fernando Llorente

Signed from: Swansea

Transfer fee: £12.1m

Appearances: 66

Goals: 13

Signed from Swansea as a backup striker for Harry Kane, Llorente didn’t have the same impact he had at the Welsh club. He was sparingly used as a plan B for Tottenham, and even fell behind Son Heung-min and Lucas. But, he may always be remembered for scoring what turned out to be the tie-winning goal against Manchester City in the 2018/19 Champions League quarter-finals.

11. Mido

Signed from: AS Roma

Transfer fee: £5m

Appearances: 63

Goals: 19

Very good during a loan spell, exceptionally awful after he signed permanently. Mido was the pre-cursor to Emmanuel Adebayor and it is somewhat telling that the two-and-a-half years he spent with Spurs was the longest time he ever spent at a European club.

Technically, the Egyptian was actually pretty good and he managed a reasonable return of 11 goals from 27 Premier League games in his first full season. Sadly, that was as good as it got for him.

10. Darren Bent

Signed from: Charlton Athletic

Transfer fee: £16.5m

Appearances: 79

Goals: 25

Only Spurs could spend a club-record transfer fee on a fourth-choice striker. Following a couple of prolific seasons with Charlton, Bent secured a £16.5m move to Spurs but he was behind Berbatov, Keane and Defoe in the pecking order.

After all three moved on within 12 months, he was promoted to first-choice but sadly for him, Redknapp never fancied him. The nadir of his Spurs career was when he missed a sitter against Portsmouth, resulting in Redknapp exclaiming: “My missus could have scored it!”

9. Emmanuel Adebayor

Signed from: Manchester City

Transfer fee: Free

Appearances: 113

Goals: 42

Hated, appreciated, hated again. That virtually sums up Emmanuel Adebayor’s Spurs career, but he was very good for a while, scoring 17 league goals in 2011/12 as Spurs finished 4th.

Adebayor started the Mauricio Pochettino regime as the first-choice striker but thankfully, both he and Soldado were so terrible the Argentine had no choice but to turn to Harry Kane. The rest, as they say, is history.

8. Frederic Kanoute

Signed from: West Ham

Transfer fee: £3.5m

Appearances: 72

Goals: 21

An outrageously good long-range volley against Everton aside, Spurs fans never really saw the best of Freddy Kanoute during his time at White Hart Lane.

It was only after leaving the club that he found some consistency to his game, becoming one of the most feared forwards on the planet while with Sevilla and even knocking his old club out of the UEFA Cup.

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7. Roman Pavlyuchenko

Signed from: Spartak Moscow

Transfer fee: £13.7m

Appearances: 113

Goals: 42

Following in the footsteps of Berbatov and Keane would have been tough for any striker and it took a while for Roman Pavlyuchenko (or Super Pav as he was nicknamed) to really get going.

He never quite managed to hit the heights expected of him and slipped down the pecking order under Redknapp but he did enjoy some memorable moments in a Spurs shirt, including scoring a goal in the 3-1 win over Inter Milan at the Lane.

6. Peter Crouch

Signed from: Portsmouth

Transfer fee: £10m

Appearances: 93

Goals: 24

The scorer of one of Spurs’ most important goals in recent history when his headed winner against Manchester City at the Etihad sealed Champions League football for the club at City’s expense.

Crouch wasn’t the most prolific striker that Spurs have had but he had a lovely understanding with Rafael van der Vaart for a while, knocking the ball down with his head into the Dutchman’s path to score. Simple, but incredibly effective.

5. Teddy Sheringham

Signed from: Manchester United

Transfer fee: Free

Appearances: 80

Goals: 26

Up there as one of Spurs’ very best strikers of all-time, Teddy Sheringham is slightly lower here as only his second spell between 2001-03 has been taken into consideration.

Although reaching the end of his career at the time, Sheringham still had something special and the fans adored him all over again after turning against him for his decision to move to Manchester United in 1997.

4. Jermain Defoe

Signed from: West Ham & Portsmouth

Transfer fee: £22m (combined)

Appearances: 363

Goals: 143

An all-time Tottenham great, Jermain Defoe is the sixth-top goalscorer in the club’s long and proud history and is joint-top of the charts when it comes to European goals with 23 from just 35 games.

During both of his spells at the club, Defoe was a clinical, exciting striker, but strangely he was very rarely the main man up front, often being third-choice. Still, he’s a Spurs legend and has been treated to a rapturous reception whenever playing against the club.

3. Robbie Keane

Signed from: Leeds United & Liverpool

Transfer fee: £27.3m (combined)

Appearances: 306

Goals: 122

Robbie Keane was well-travelled in the early years of his career but he finally found a home in North London, staying at Spurs for six years during his first spell with the club.

From the moment he stepped out on the White Hart Lane pitch, Keane had the fans behind him, owing to his exceptional technique, sharp football brain and goalscoring prowess.

The Irishman tainted his legacy at the club somewhat by handing in a transfer request to force through a move to Liverpool but he returned just six months later and was greeted with a hero’s welcome on his second coming.

2. Dimitar Berbatov

Signed from: Bayer Leverkusen

Transfer fee: £10.9m

Appearances: 102

Goals: 46

Some might question whether Dimitar Berbatov truly deserves being ranked ahead of Keane and Defoe given he spent only two seasons with the club and sulked his way out of the club to join Manchester United.

However, when it comes to pure ability, the Bulgarian is one of the very best to pull on a Spurs shirt during the Premier League era. Oozing class and quality, Berbatov formed a brilliant partnership with Keane and the duo were prolific during their two years together.

His four goals against Reading, that flick, run and finish against Charlton and his ice-cool penalty in the League Cup final against Chelsea justify him coming in at second.

1. Harry Kane

Signed from: Academy

Transfer fee: Free

Appearances: 366

Goals: 234

All that money spent on strikers and the best of the lot is a lad from Chingford who cost the club absolutely nothing. It’s a funny old game.

For a long time, it looked as though Kane wouldn’t make the grade at his boyhood club as he was buffeted from one lower league club to the next on loan before finally getting some chances in the 2013/14 season.

The following campaign was truly his breakthrough one, though, as he managed 21 goals in the Premier League and he has gone from strength to strength since, winning the three of the last four Golden Boots in the competition as well as becoming the club’s second-highest goalscorer.