Dispatches from #batcountry is a daily series at Cartilage Free Captain where we examine ridiculous transfer rumors found on the internet and tell you why you shouldn't believe them. Why #batcountry? Because our own author The Sleeper's Sleep wrote a brilliant article last summer comparing the Silly Season™ to a scene from Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It seemed appropriate.
Hey, everybody! Tottenham Hotspur has been linked, along with Arsenal and Liverpool, by TalkSport with a move for Barcelona's Gerard Deulofeu, one of the hottest young players in Europe, and a footballer who can play either as a winger or as a striker! YAAAAAAAY!
...Oh wait, it's a loan deal. With no option to buy. BOOOOOOO.
But Uncle Menno, you say, we still need a striker and he's young and Spanish and wah wah robble robble! All true, gentle reader. And Deulofeu is a very, very promising young player, plus he's not going to get anywhere near the Barcelona first team this season after they signed Neymar. Any club would want him, right? Why, just check out this highlight video of him, accompanied (of course) by god-awful dubstep music!
So why is this #batcountry? Because as good as Deulofeu is, he's not a guaranteed starter on either Tottenham, Liverpool, or Arsenal. Even at 19, he'd be a fantastic impact sub or a squad player, but he's not going to walk into the starting lineup for any top English club. And the three clubs mentioned, which can be rightly called second tier European powers, are not generally in the habit of helping develop young future superstars for teams that they would probably be facing in European competition. ESPECIALLY if they don't have the option to buy that youngster after the loan deal is completed.
Deulofeu is a special kid, and he's definitely going to be a superstar for Barcelona. He'll undoubtably get a loan deal with some mid-table team in England or Germany that could really use the help and one with whom he could waltz right into the starting lineup. In conversation today, my colleagues mentioned clubs like Swansea or Freiburg as teams that could benefit from a young, developing Deulofeu. He's not coming to Spurs, though, unless Daniel Levy is able to subsequently squirrel him away to Bull's Cross afterwards and tell Barça that, oops, he "lost him."