The 5 Most Expensive Irish Transfers Of All Time

The 5 Most Expensive Irish Transfers Of All Time
By Luke Delaney

With the news that Gavin Bazunu's transfer to Southampton from Manchester City is completed, we take a look at the most expensive Irish transfers of all time. We've produced some quality players over the years, but nowadays with the inflation of the transfer market, there's no doubt that some of these players would be going for a lot more money in today's market.

Top 5 most expensive Irish transfers

  1. Robbie Keane to Liverpool - £19 million

Robbie Keane moved from White Hart Lane to Anfield in the summer of 2008 for a fee of around £19 million, putting him at the top of the list for most expensive Irish transfers of all time. It's safe to say that Keane's stint at Liverpool never reached the heights expected of the goal machine due to a number of reasons.

With Rafa Benitez using Keane out of position more times than not and Steven Gerrard's partnership with Fernando Torres in full flight, the Crumlin native moved back to Tottenham the following January where he found form again.

2.  Damien Duff to Chelsea - £17 million


Duff arrived to Chelsea for a hefty transfer fee of £17 million at the time from Blackburn in 2003. The wideman would go on to win back to back Premier League titles with Chelsea in 2003/04 and 2004/05 where he formed a great relationship on the wing alongside Arjen Robben for Jose Mourinho's side.

Duff left Chelsea in July 2006 where he moved north to Newcastle United.

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3. Matt Doherty to Tottenham - £15 million


Matt Doherty left Molineux for Spurs in August 2020 ahead of Jose Mourinho's first season in charge at the club. Doherty had spent 10 seasons at Wolves where he made more that 250 appearances for the club. Doherty has found his playing time limited since the move, but did find the sort of form that he showed at Wolves when Antonio Conte became manager.

Sadly for Doherty, an injury in April ruled the wing back out of the rest of the Premier League season and he also missed Ireland's most recent Nations League games.

4. James McCarthy to Everton - £13.5 million

Next on the list for most expensive Irish transfers is James McCarthy. After Wigan's relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2012/13 season, former Lactic's boss Roberto Martinez decided to bring the midfielder to Goodison Park. McCarthy had been a stand out performer for Wigan and was part of the side who shocked Manchester City during the 2013 FA Cup final.


McCarthy was a mainstay in the Everton side during his first couple of seasons at the club, but after numerous injury problems, the Ireland international was sold to Crystal Palace in 2019 after six seasons on Merseyside. McCarthy is now on the books with Celtic.

5. Gavin Bazunu to Southampton - £12 million + add ons

The 20-year-old shot stopper has had a meteoric rise over the past year. From that wonder save against Luxembourg to stopping a Cristiano Ronaldo spot kick, Bazunu has the potential to reach the very top. Fabrizio Romano has reported that the deal could be worth up to £15 million with add-ons and that Manchester City will receive a 20% sell on clause and an option to buy back the former Shamrock Rovers man.

After two successful seasons on loan at Rochdale and the Saints' south east rivals' Portsmouth, there's no doubt that regular Premier League football was always going to be the next step for Bazunu. Should Bazunu emulate the form shown over the past couple of seasons, he could well be higher up on the list of most expensive Irish transfers in the coming years.


Honourable Mentions

Here's some other Irish transfers that just missed out on the list due to Bazunu's deal potentially rising to £15 million with add-ons

Robbie Brady to Burnley - £13 million - 2017

Robbie Keane to Inter Milan - £13 million - 2000

Shane Long to Southampton - £12 million - 2014

SEE ALSO: Eamon Dunphy & Liam Brady Disagree On Ireland's Progress Under Stephen Kenny

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