Another January transfer window has come and gone. It was certainly one that caught the eye of Irish fans due to the large number of Irish players making moves. A player can be sold for a hefty fee if they are playing well for their club. In contrast, a player may be looking for a move away if they are lacking match minutes or if there has been a falling out within the club. There have been many Irish transfers over the years. A few Irish players have already been on the move this transfer window; one in particular has been Irish goalkeeper Darren Randolph. Randolph has completed a £4 million deal back to West Ham from championship side Middlesbrough. The Bray native will join the many other Irish players playing in the Premier League. In this article we will look at the 10 most expensive Irish transfers of all time.
10. Callum Robinson – £8m – Preston to Sheffield United
Irish International Callum Robinson broke Sheffield United’s transfer record back in July after signing for £8 million from championship side Preston North End. The Irish striker has scored two goals so far for The Blades, once in the premier league against Chelsea and once in the FA cup against AFC Fylde. Robinson has bagged 1 goal in his international career to date after scoring against New Zealand back in November. The 24 year old has since got a loan move to Championship side West Brom to seek more first team action. He will hope to bag a few goals before the play offs in March.
9. Aiden McGeady – £9.5m – Celtic to Spartak Moscow
Aiden McGeady joined Russian side Spartak Moscow back in 2010 for £9.5 million from Scottish outfit Celtic. McGeady made 93 appearances for Spartak Moscow, scoring 13 goals. The winger joined Everton in 2014 and went on to have loan spells at both Sheffield Wednesday and Preston before joining Sunderland in 2017. McGeady was told he can leave Wearside this month after a supposed training ground incident. The 33 year old has made 93 appearances for Ireland but the skilful winger will believe he could have made much more out of his career with the talent he possesses. McGeady has recently signed for Championship side Charlton.
8. Jeff Hendrick – 10.5m- Derby to Burnley
After Hendrick impressed at Euro 2016 for Ireland, Premiership side Burnley signed the midfielder for £10.5 million in August 2016. Hendrick has made over 100 appearances for Burnley to date and has been a consistent presence in the Irish midfield. He has represented the national team all through underage and currently has over 50 caps for the senior team. The Dubliner was snapped up by Derby County in 2008 after impressing with local side St. Kevin’s Boys andhas made a career in England ever since. The 27 year old grabbed the winner for Ireland against Gibraltar in Ireland’s first game for Euro 2020 qualification. The midfielder will be hoping to impress for club ahead of the play offs in March.
7. Robbie Keane – £12m – Liverpool to Tottenham
The all time leading Irish goal-scorer returned to Tottenham Hotspur from Liverpool in 2009 for a fee of £12 million. Keane made a further 40 appearances for Spurs after fielding nearly 200 times from 2002-2008. On his return, Keane scored 11 times for Tottenham in the league and was made vice-captain. In 2010, the Irish man was loaned to Celtic. He scored 12 goals in 16 games for the Scottish side. Keane was then loaned to West Ham in January 2011 before signing for LA Galaxy that summer. Irish legend Robbie Keane will appear three times on this list of “10 most expensive Irish transfers of all time” which shows his value for other clubs. ‘Keano’ will go down as an all time great in both premier League and Irish history.
6. Shane Long – £12m – Hull City to Southampton
In August 2014, Shane Long joined Southampton from Hull for £12 million. Long made a name for himself while playing for Reading between the years 2005 and 2010 before signing for West Brom in 2011. Long made 87 appearances for The Baggies, scoring 22 times. He joined Hull in 2014 before making the move to Southampton the following summer. The Irish striker is still currently with The Saints and has made nearly 200 appearances to date, scoring 32 goals. Long has been ever present in Irish squads since 2007 and has 82 caps for the national side, scoring 17 goals. He will always be remembered as the player who stunned the Germans in a 1-0 win back in Euro 2016 qualification. The 32 year old has been getting game time as of late for Southampton and will be looking to grab a few goals if he is to be in Ireland’s squad for the play offs in March.
5. Robbie Keane – £13m – Coventry City to Inter Milan
After impressing in the premier league for Coventry, Keane was snapped up by Italian giants Inter Milan for £13 million in July 2000. Keane made 14 appearances overall for Inter. He scored his first goal for the club in a Super Cup game against Lazio. Keane managed to score only 3 goals for Inter during his short spell there, two of his other goals coming in the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia. Marco Tardelli became the new Inter manager during Keane’s spell at the club and the striker struggled under the new regime. He was loaned to Leeds United later that year after Tardelli deemed Keane to be surplus to requirements. The Irish striker once again impressed in England and was signed permanently by Leeds in 2001.
4. Robbie Brady – £13m – Norwich City to Burnley
In January 2017, Robbie Brady joined Burnley from Norwich for a fee of £13 million. Brady has been an important player for Burnley since signing from Norwich and has recently got himself back into their starting 11 after returning from injury. He has made over 50 appearances for The Clarets, scoring 5 goals. Brady has been also a key member for Ireland in the last decade. He has over 40 caps for the national side, scoring 8 times. The 27 year old is known for his crucial goal against Italy at Euro 2016 to send Ireland through to the knockout stages. He will be hoping to get more match minutes under his belt as he is certainly a player that can offer real quality to the Irish side. Mick McCarthy will hope he keeps fit and sharp ahead of the play offs.
3. James McCarthy – £13.5m – Wigan to Everton
In 2013, Irish midfielder James McCarthy joined Everton for a fee of £13.5 million. At the time, he became Everton’s second most expensive player in their history. McCarthy went on to make over 100 appearances for The Toffees, scoring 6 times. The midfielder excelled under Roberto Martinez who was also his boss at Wigan. At the start of 2018, McCarthy suffered a leg break which ruled him out for the season. The 29 year old went on to appear for Everton just once after returning from injury. This resulted in him moving to Crystal Palace last summer where he has been getting game time as of late. Similar to Brady and Long, McCarthy has been a consistent presence in Irish squads for the last decade. He has over 40 caps for the national side and will be looking to get back into the squad after his absence due to injury. The talented midfielder will hope he keeps getting more match minutes for Palace ahead of March.
2. Damien Duff – £17m – Blackburn to Chelsea
In the summer of 2003, Chelsea secured the signing of Irish winger Damien Duff for £17 million. Duff impressed for Blackburn in the 2002-03 season and helped his team finish sixth in the league that year. Chelsea triggered Duff’s release clause the following season and he was brought in just as the Roman Abramovich era was starting. ‘Duffer’ went on to make over 100 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 19 goals. He won the Premier League and League Cup under Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho. In July 2006, Duff moved to Newcastle in a £5 million deal from Chelsea. He went on to make over 80 appearances for Newcastle before signing for Fulham in 2009. Duff made over 150 appearances for The Cottagers, scoring 22 times. The Irish man will go down as an all-time great for the national side. Duff is one of few players to have made the 100 cap mark for the Irish team and was a constant menace for defenders on the wing. After Euro 2012, Duff announced his retirement from international football. Damien Duff certainly ticks the boxes when it comes to Irish legends of the game.
1. Robbie Keane – £19m – Tottenham to Liverpool
Robbie Keane joined English and European giants Liverpool in July 2008. He was bought from Spurs for a transfer fee of £19 million rising to £20 million with add-ons. Keane’s impressive goal-scoring record at Tottenham caught the attention of Rafa Benitez who was at the time Liverpool manager. Unfortunately, things never really worked out for Keane at Liverpool as he only appeared 19 times for the Reds, scoring 5 times. Keane was in the form of his life before moving to Merseyside and was unlucky not to be given longer at the club. The Irish man will go down as the countries greatest ever goal-scorer after scoring 68 times in 146 caps for his national side. Currently, Keane is assistant manager to Mick McCarthy and also assistant manager at Middlesbrough. As fans, we hope another goal-scorer as good as ‘Keano’ will come along soon although we all know that there is only one Robbie Keane.