There were times when Tottenham Hotspur FC was a rather middle-of-the-pack club in England, but times have changed in the 21st century. Now, Tottenham is one of the most prestigious clubs in terms of honours and revenue, allowing them to pull in some of the best players in the world. Because of this, there is now a good mix of recent and past players who would be considered all-time greats.
Of those players, who are the greatest of the great? Let’s take a look at Arsenal’s history and choose the five best players of all time. Before jumping into the list, there were some legendary players who just missed the cut, including Gareth Bale, Ledley King, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, and Robbie Keane.
Already considered the greatest player to ever come from South Korea, Son Heung-min has dazzled at every stop along the way. In the late 2000s, he made his way to Germany to begin his professional career, playing with Hamburger SV. In 2013, Son joined Bayer Leverkusen for two years, and in 2015 he took a big step forward in terms of global recognition when he joined Tottenham.
Son is one of the top goal scorers in Tottenham history with over 140 during his impressive career, many of those coming in clutch situations. Son has won an incredibly long list of individual awards, including three Player of the Season honours for Tottenham while scoring the Goal of the Decade in the 2010s. As for his Best Football in Asia honours, let’s just say he needs a larger trophy room.
In the early 1950s, Edinburgh native Dave Mackay began his professional career with Heart of Midlothian in his hometown, then made his way to Tottenham in 1959. He would spend just under a decade with the Spurs before wrapping up his career in the early 1970s with shorter stints at Derby County and Swindon Town, making over 100 appearances with three different clubs.
Mackay didn’t have the longest stint for a player on the list or the most goals, though he was consistently the top player on the squad each year. With Tottenham, Mackay helped the club win the First Division title as well as three FA Cups.
Born in Belfast, Danny Blanchflower had a long professional career by the time he got to Tottenham. Blanchflower started just after World War II with Glentoran before heading to Barnsley and Aston Villa. Finally, in 1954 (and with over 300 professional matches under his belt), Blanchflower joined Tottenham for a decade. Outside of his final three matches with Durban City in 1965, he would enjoy the rest of his career with the Spurs.
Blanchflower is the other player on the list that doesn’t appear in the top 10 list of highest scorers or most matches played, but his impact was certainly felt. A 2003 inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame, Blanchflower won two Footballer of the Year Awards and helped the Spurs win a First Division Title and two FA Cups.
Harry Kane is a striker who came from Walthamstow and joined five different youth programs including Arsenal and Watford before he became part of Tottenham in 2004. Five years later he made his professional debut and never looked back. Kane has been sent away on loan to a handful of teams including Leicester City, but Tottenham is where his best years and heart have always been.
Kane is tied with our number-one player for the most goals scored in club history at 268. Kane did so in 420 matches, giving him an impressive 0.64 goals per match average. Kane has been given a long list of individual awards, including two England Player of the Year honours while helping Tottenham reach the finals of the UEFA Champions League and EFL Cup.
While other clubs have a clear-cut player at the top of their all-time greatest list, Tottenham’s is certainly up for debate. Our number one pick, however, is Jimmy Greaves, who came into professional football with Chelsea in the late 1950s. Following his departure, Greaves had a brief run with AC Milan before spending almost the entirety of the 1960s with Tottenham.
Greaves ranks close to the top 10 of all time in terms of match appearances with Tottenham at 381, and he was certainly efficient as a scorer. Kane and Greaves are tied for the most goals in club history, but Greaved needed 39 fewer matches to put up his 268 goals, giving him an insane 0.70 goals per match average. Greaves won two FA Cups with Tottenham, and in 1963 finished in the top three of the Ballon d’Or voting.