The 10 Most Expensive Irish Transfers Of All Time

By Luke Delaney
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With the news that Nathan Collins' move to Wolves in 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 Wolves- £20.5 million

After an impressive first season in the Premier League with now relegated Burnley and a phenomenal international window at the start of the summer, Wolves have snapped up the signature of Nathan Collins. The fee is expected to be upwards of £20.5 million, making him the most expensive Irish player of all time.

If his past performances both for club and country are anything to go buy, this could go down as one of the bargains of the transfer window.

2.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.

3.  Damien Duff to Chelsea - £17 million

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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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4. 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.

5. 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.


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

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.

7. 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.

8.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.

9. 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.

10. Nathan Collins to Burnley - £12 million

Last summer, Sean Dyche paid around £12 million to sign then Irish U21 international Nathan Collins from Stoke City. After becoming Stoke's youngest ever captain at the age of 18, he went on to make over 40 appearances at the club.


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

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