You've probably heard by now that Tottenham have been linked with yet another Belgian. The Mirror reports that Spurs are rekindling a long-term interest for Congolese-born Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi as they look for another attacking option behind Harry Kane.
So Batshuayi is a quality player. He scored 11 goals for Marseille in all competitions last season, after absolutely tearing it up at Standard Liege, where he scored 40 goals in three years. He's only 21, a prolific scorer, and has underlying stats that imply that he could be a real major talent. Don't believe me? Here's Ted Knutson talking about Batshuayi last March.
Have been holding off on this one all season but... I think Marseille's Michy Batshuayi might be _really_ good. pic.twitter.com/HW8MBjKD6B— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) March 23, 2015
Batshuayi fits the general mold of what Tottenham are looking for in a back-up striker: young, talented, perhaps a wee bit under the radar, can still develop, and most importantly, willing to be a back-up to Kane. He could be had, says the Mirror, for around £9m.
Before we get too excited about this, though, there are a couple of things to consider. First, take the Mirror's nebulous language: "ready to follow up," etc. This is not the language you write in when discussing a concrete rumor. But I don't have to tell you this. It's Silly Season; this is just par for the course. Until we get a more reputable media outlet reporting on this, it's safer to take this with an entire salt mine for now.
Secondly, Marseille are hemorrhaging talent this summer. They've already lost André-Pierre Gignac to Tigres in Liga MX, Andre Ayew to Swansea, and Dimitri Payet to West Ham. It seems a little crazy that they'd be willing to part with Batshuayi, one of their top young attacking talents, at this point unless they got a lot of money for him. On the other hand, the prior departures could be part of an epic exodus, and could mean that Batshuayi might be angling to leave while he can.
Finally, Belgian football journalist Kristoff Terreur is bearish on this rumor:
Michy Batshuayi was definitely on Spurs' radar last season, but he had a different agent at the time. Is likely to stay at Marseille. #THFC— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) July 14, 2015
Why is this important? Because Terreur is very well clued into Belgian transfer rumors, and he's been pretty much right on the money with regards to every Belgian player Spurs have been linked to in this window. Until something more concrete comes out, I think we should probably take Terreur at his word.
So, it's a rumor that's not quite cromulent, but neither is it #batcountry. I'm convinced that Bashuayi would be a pretty baller signing, but I'm less convinced that it's actually a real, actual, solid rumor. For now, let's just call it #batshuayi-country and see if anything develops.