The summer transfer window is upon us, and, as always, it brings with it rampant speculation to drown us in hope before another full year of disappointment. Unfortunately most of the speculation seen online falls not under the category of “reasoned and reliable information,” but under the more dubious distinction of “lazy journalism.” Here, I detail the top five transfer rumours that have been floating around that fall under the latter category.
1. Enner Valencia
Spurs perpetually need strikers; it’s like we’re Seinfeld and they’re a mildly catchy base riff—that is, if Seinfeld went through a new riff every episode and ruined them to the point that they were no longer useful and people staged twitter campaigns to make sure they didn’t show up anywhere else ever (a la Roberto Soldado), and since its World Cup season, Spurs are naturally linked with any forward who performs halfway well. One of the more unlikely of these is Enner Valencia, the hero of the Ecuadorian side that fought hard to unseat the European contingent in their group from advancing. Although ultimately unsuccessful, they played quite well, especially good old Enner. Why so crazy? After all, he did play well and crushed the souls of those poor Hondurans and gave the Swiss a run for their money. Despite it all though, this rumor sits firmly in never-gonna-happen land. Valencia has never played in one of the premier competitive leagues, and while he did score eighteen goals for his new side Pachua last season, it was in the Mexican top division, which is not especially renowned for producing top-four BPL players. MoPo is too smart for this one.
2. Jay Rodriguez
Positionally, J-Rod makes sense, and I do think he’s a player who could excel for Spurs. We know he fits into MoPo’s system, and I believe he’d be an upgrade over Lennon/Townsend/Glfi/etc. The problem with the Rodriguez story is the nagging thing that is a torn ACL. Sidelined for months, good old Daniel Levy is unlikely to want to splurge on a wide player who would come in with an injury and potentially never play or contribute for the course of the season. Not that Spurs have ever done that with a young inverted winger, but God wouldn’t it be embarrassing. I’m all for Poch poaching J-Rod in January or next summer, but let’s make sure the man can walk before we splash the cash.
3. James Ward-Prowse
JdubP is the second Southampton item on the list, a great guy, and a bright young English talent. What’s not to like? He even fits the Tottenham transfer strategy of buying young to sell big later. While I think that this is probably the most likely item on the list, it still seems far-fetched. Spurs have been nothing short of gluttonous in their hoarding of central midfield players, and even though Ward-Prowse definitely fits in the system like Rodriguez, there’s no guarantee the MoPo will play the exact same way, and it’s unlikely that there’s no one on Spurs or available in the transfer market that would not be an upgrade on the young prospect. It’d be like hitting the mall and buying that deep v-neck in the window of the store your brother-in-law likes. Sure it may be in vogue in a couple years, but for now, you’ve got better options—and some skin to mercifully cover up.
4. Mario Balotelli
Please. God. No. It’s not the first time we’ve seen Balotelli linked with a move to Spurs, and it almost certainly won’t be the last, but I just don’t see it happening, and I really, really hope I’m not just kidding myself. After moving to Milan last year for 19 million pounds (via the Telegraph), the ridiculous striker would likely not come cheap—a natural initial aversion for Daniel Levy. Metro also reported recently that he’s being offered at a whopping 30 million pounds. Of course, this is largely unsubstantiated, but such a fee wouldn’t necessarily be illogical, as Balotelli is a young striker who, at his best, is one of the best in the world. Unfortunately, that best can be hard to come by. After the scattered success that resulted from the last transfer window, it’s likely that the theme of this window is going to be “safe,” which, translated into Italian is, “not Mario Balotelli.” After spending big and falling short on a striker this past season, Levy will want any new face up front to be as close to a sure things as possible, and Balotelli does not fit the bill. If such a deal were to be made, I’d storm to London and torch the capital, but the deed would already have been done by Balotelli, likely because his toast was burnt.
5. Anything You Read About Erik Lamela
I’m rattled, really, by the deluge of stories saying that we’re selling or loaning “FLOP” Lamela back to Serie A. First of all, you know what doesn’t make sense? Spending 30 million on a player to give up on him after one season and then just run down his contract by loaning him to Inter. What also doesn’t make Sense? Offering a cut-price deal on a player who is still a consensus great young talent. One injury riddled year does not change that he is likely going to be great, and Levy and MoPo are not too stupid to realize that they just need to be patient and sit on him (not literally—the kid is fragile as shit apparently) until he comes good.
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