£150m down the drain: Pochettino’s £265k-p/w disaster duo have truly bled Spurs dry – opinion


Spurs: Pochettino’s £265k-p/w disaster duo have bled Levy dry

The Lilywhites arguably threw £150m down the drain with two notable signings of the recent past…

Despite prior reports that new Tottenham Hotspur boss Ange Postecoglou was looking to move on a host of first-team assets following his appointment at N17, the window came and went with a number of the ‘deadwood’ having remained on the books.

The likes of Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg both stayed put despite claims that the north Londoners were open to offers for the experienced pair, while long-serving goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is also yet to find a new home, after previously stating his desire to move elsewhere.

There may well be a sense of frustration that those departures did not occur, although the Lilywhites have at least since been able to shift two more figures who appeared to be surplus to requirements, with Davinson Sanchez and Tanguy Ndombele – both of whom were signed during Mauricio Pochettino’s time in charge – having joined Turkish giants Galatasaray.

Those long-awaited exits have brought to an end a tumultuous spell in the capital for the pair, with Spurs likely ruing the hefty investment that they made in the duo – with regard to both transfer fees and wages – over recent years.

How much did Sanchez cost Spurs?

In the case of Sanchez, the Colombian international was snapped up by Pochettino and co back in the summer of 2017, having caught the eye after playing his part in Ajax’s run to the Europa League final during the previous season.

The promising talent had been acquired for what was a then club-record fee of around £42m, with the Lilywhites having been keen to provide greater depth in the centre-back ranks, behind the first-choice pairing of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.


Six years on from that high-profile switch to England, the 54-cap dud has since moved on to Istanbul for a reported fee of just £12.8m, with that representing a stark decline for a player who has been branded “one of the worst players” to have ever played for the club, according to talkSPORT pundit Jamie O’Hara.

What did Sanchez earn at Spurs?

Having “had question marks hanging over him ever since he came in”, according to pundit Noel Whelan, the 2022/23 campaign proved to be a particular low point for the centre-back as he was restricted to just eight Premier League starts in total.

The 6 foot 2 enigma’s time at the club also reached its undoubted nadir during the 3-2 defeat to AFC Bournemouth earlier this year, as he was brutally withdrawn by interim boss Cristian Stellini early in the second half, despite having only entered the fray midway through the opening period.

That error-strewn outing ultimately led to Sanchez being booed by his own support on the day, with there seemingly having been no turning back from such a disastrous day, hence the player’s departure earlier this week.


In truth, it is fair to say that the one-time Atletico Nacional man – who made 207 appearances in total – did not warrant the £65k-per-week salary that he raked in after signing back in 2017, with that totalling up to roughly £20m in wages.

Such a sizeable outlay will no doubt sting for chairman Daniel Levy considering the defender’s woes, with Whelan having perhaps best summarised just what a dismal signing Sanchez proved to be for the club:

“He’s been inconsistent, there are mistakes in him – very crucial mistakes which dictate the outcome of games.”

It could be argued, however, that the addition of Ndombele proved to be even more of a transfer howler for both Pochettino and Levy, with the Frenchman having been a particularly costly mistake on reflection.

How much did Tottenham pay for Ndombele?

Despite having splashed out £60m on Richarlison last summer in order to prise the Brazilian from Everton, incredibly it is Ndombele who remains the club’s record capture, having joined from Lyon on a £63m deal back in 2019.

As his recent loan switch to the Super Lig has indicated – a deal that includes an option to buy for the Istanbul outfit – the 26-year-old is no longer deemed a worthy squad asset for those at N17, having regularly flattered to deceive over the last four years or so.

While perhaps a victim of the sacking of Pochettino just a few months into his time in England, Ndombele didn’t exactly do his best to try and win over the likes of Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo, notably being called a “disgrace” by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher back in 2020 for his apparent lack of work ethic.

Although there had been whispers that Postecoglou was willing to give the player a fresh start during pre-season, the news of a temporary departure will not have come as a shock to most, with the midfield maestro having spent the past 18 months at both Lyon and Napoli after falling out of favour at his parent club.

While those recent exits have helped to cover the cost of the maverick’s hefty wages, like Sanchez the Frenchman has also rather bled Tottenham dry after being unable to warrant the faith in his talent.

What does Ndombele earn at Tottenham?

After spending four years on the books at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the 5 foot 11 dud has thus far scored just ten goals and provided only nine assists in 91 games in all competitions, hardly proving worthy of his reported £200k-per-week wages.

Excluding the time he has since spent out on loan, Ndombele’s first two-and-a-half seasons in north London reportedly costly Levy and co around £25m – as per FBref – with his total cost coming in at around £88m, when factoring in his transfer fee.


Add to that the £42m fee that was spent on Sanchez – as well as the centre-back’s £20m in wages – and, as journalist Paul O’Keefe alluded to, the club have forked out in the region of £150m on the pair in total.

That is a truly mammoth, eye-watering figure, particularly for two men who have distinctly underwhelmed during their times at N17, with the hope being that it won’t be too long before Ndombele joins Sanchez in making a permanent exit from the club.

For many of a Tottenham persuasion, it will likely be a case of good riddance to the pair of them.