If you believe the world of nonsense blogs and rags, Tottenham Hotspur are about to bid 8 million Euros for M'Baye Niang, a 16-year-old striker who plays for Caen in France's Ligue 1. As a little searching around on the internet can tell you, he scored three goals in his four starts last season, and he's made a total of seven league appearances for Caen. He's played extensively in the France U-16 and U-17 teams. So, what can't a little googling tell you about the guy?
When the rumors came out, I hit up the awesome Andrew Gibney, who knows a fair bit about Ligue 1 and French players. I recommend giving him a follow on twitter and checking out both his blog and radio show. He told me that Niang is a big, strong striker for his age and that he has great composure in front of goal. He's highly thought of in France. That's the good news. The bad news? While this will not be surprising, Andrew said it's far too early for him to move.
And, even without seeing Niang play or knowing his personality, I'd tend to agree based on the knowledge that I do have. It's generally not a good idea for 16-year-olds to move abroad. If Niang can play regularly in France next season and prove that he has the fitness and maturity to up his game, I'm a proponent of buying younger players before their value skyrockets, as I said in this Connor Wickham post earlier today. However, this is different from Wickham. In that case, Wickham is two years older, has about eight times as many professional appearances, and is moving to a team 275 miles away in the same country. Niang's situation is totally different.
But if we do sign him, you will not see me complaining about it.