The 10 Most Expensive Irish Transfers Of All Time

By Luke Delaney Updated
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With the news that Nathan Collins' move to Brentford 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 10 most expensive Irish transfers

1. Nathan Collins to Brentford - £23 million

Top of the list is the biggest move of the summer yet for an Irish player, with Nathan Collins' move from Wolves to Brentford confirmed.

Though the club's website refers to the transfer fee as "undisclosed," it also says that it is their record signing, and has been widely reported as falling at £23 million.

Irish fans will be hoping to see Collins nail down a starting spot at a top-half Premier League club, and spur them on in their dream of securing European football.


READ HERE: Nathan Collins Excited To Reunite With 'Legend' At Brentford

2. Nathan Collins to Wolves- £20.5 million

Nathan Collins from Brentford takes top spot from...Nathan Collins to Wolves. The fee for the centre back was reported to be upwards of £20.5 million last summer, making him the most expensive Irish player of all time.

Though Collins would ultimately fall out of favour with manager Julen Lopetegui, he continued to impress when he pulled on the green shirt, and has earned himself a move up the Premier League for the coming season..


3.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.

READ HERE: Robbie Keane Gave Testy Response When Asked About Criticism Over Israeli Move


4. Damien Duff to Chelsea - £17 million

[Watch Video]

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.


READ HERE: Watch: Gesture To Pats Fans That Earned Damien Duff Another Red Card

5. 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 initally found his playing time limited after the move, but did find the sort of form that he showed at Wolves when Antonio Conte became manager.


Doherty has since been released by Spurs, partly to facilitate an ill-fated move to Atletico Madrid in January. He found game time hard to come by in Madrid, playing only 16 minutes for Atleti. The Irishman is now a free agent, and has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia.

6. 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.

7. Gavin Bazunu to Southampton - £12 million + add ons to £15 million

The 20-year-old shot stopper has had a meteoric rise during the 2021-22 season. From that wonder save against Luxembourg to stopping a Cristiano Ronaldo spot kick, Bazunu has the potential to reach the very top. Fabrizio Romano 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. Though Southampton endured a torrid season and were relegated to the Championship, Bazunu will hope that he could well be higher up on the list of most expensive Irish transfers in the coming years.

8. Robbie Brady to Burnley - £13 million 

On deadline day in January 2017, Burnley smashed their club record transfer fee for Robbie Brady. After impressing during the European Championships the summer before, many were surprised that the wideman hadn't made a permanent transfer away from Norwich before the start of the campaign.

Brady played a pivotal role in the second half of the 2017/18 season, helping the Clarets to a 7th place finish and European football for the first time in 51 years. Despite making 87 appearaces for the club, Brady's game time was limited due to a number of injuries and he left the club for Bournemouth in 2021.

9.Robbie Keane to Inter Milan - £13 million 

At the age of just 20, Robbie Keane left Coventry City after an impressive first season in the Premier League, signing a 5-year-contract at the Italian Giants. However, following the sacking of manager Marcello Lippi, his successor Marco Tardelli deemed Keane surplus to requirements and after less than six months, Keane was loaned to Leeds United.

Ireland's record goal scorer made 14 appearances and scored three time during his short stint at the San Siro.

10. Shane Long to Southampton - £12 million

Following Hull City's relegation from the top flight at the end of the 2013/14 season, Southampton signed Shane Long . The Tipperary native was an integral part of the side for the majority of his time at St.Mary's making over 200 appearances and scoring 32 times.

Long announced that he was leaving the club after eight seasons lasst month and is yet to comment on where his next destination will be.

Incredibly, the move for Nathan Collins to Brentford has knocked his £12 million move to Burnley in 2021 off the list of the top ten most expensive Irish transfers of all time.

Photos in featured image: Sportsfile

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