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Spurs preparing bid for Dutch winger

Memphis Depay bid coming? It's phrased like real reporting and everything. But it's, so let's hold off for a minute.

Clive Rose

Dutch winger Memphis Depay earned a regular position in Louis van Gaal's World Cup squad, and impressed there in a forward line featuring Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie. But he's not just a World Cup wonder. Depay scored 12 goals and assisted seven in the Eredivisie this year, backed up by absolutely huge shot, dribble and key pass numbers. At just 20 years of age, Depay could be a legitimate superstar. This summer, Ted Knutson of Stats Bomb tagged Depay as possibly the third best available attacker on the market.

Now, I would approach Eredivisie numbers with real skepticism. Detailed data on shots and dribbles in Dutch football is only available for the most recent season, so we do not have good comparands for Depay based only on his numbers. (Knutson tends to be much more bullish on the utility of individual player stats than I am.) Still, those stats are on their face extremely impressive, and Depay's play in the World Cup demonstrated the kind of elite athleticism that should help him  translate that production to a much tougher league.

So is Tottenham Hotspur bidding on him? Not yet. But maybe! William Joyce reports for that Spurs are planning a bid of possibly £15m for the PSV Eindhoven youngster.

This story does not pass the smell test for me. First, it is just, whose reporting record is spotty at best. Second, stories of "preparing a bid" are classic bullshit dumps. Joyce is not reporting that any contact has been made between the two parties. He's only saying that some people around Spurs Lodge have been talking about Depay. His reporting could even be right, and absolutely nothing could come of it, because no contact has been made and no bid finalized. Third, the very specific £15m sounds really high for a Daniel Levy opening bid for a young player.

Now, interest in Depay is not implausible on its face. We know that Spurs were looking to get a goal-scoring wide forward in Jay Rodriguez, and that transfer appears to have fallen apart. Depay plays the same position, but has far more upside than the older Rodriguez. There are reports of Spurs looking to cut bait on Nacer Chadli, which would further open up space for Depay. Spurs apparently had the cash to bid in the range of £15m for Antoine Griezmann, so the budget situation is not disqualifying.

This is not #batcountry, but I want to wait for a better-sourced report before I say that Spurs could be going after Depay.