Toe Poke Daily: Spurs sign first player in 518 days... send him straight out on loan
The Toe Poke Daily is here every day to bring you all the weirdest stories, quirkiest viral content and top trolling that the internet has to offer, all in one place.
The wait is over. Tottenham have signed a new player for the first time in 518 days; since Lucas Moura arrived from Paris Saint-Germain on Jan. 31, 2018.
Unfortunately, Spurs fans haven't even been given the chance to welcome Jack Clarke into the lilywhite family as the 18-year-old winger has been immediately loaned back to Leeds United, the club from which they bought him.
The two updates were posted literally one minute apart along with two rather amusing hashtags.
'Haitian Vela' hopes to shock Mexico at Gold Cup
▶️ ¿Cuál es Carlos Vela y cuál es el haitiano Steeven Saba? https://t.co/RqAYNDkC45— ESPN Deportes (@ESPNDeportes) July 1, 2019
Haiti midfielder Steeven Saba has been receiving a lot of messages in recent days. Perhaps that should be expected, given Haiti will play Mexico on Tuesday in its first ever Gold Cup semifinal appearance and that people poured onto the streets of capital Port-au-Prince to celebrate the quarterfinal win against Canada on Saturday night.
But for U.S. citizen Saba, the messages of support from the Caribbean nation have been mixed in with ones in Spanish pointing out his uncanny resemblance to Mexico and LAFC forward Carlos Vela, who rejected a call to El Tri for the Gold Cup.
Saba and Vela's faces have been pasted together all over the Mexican media and the 26-year-old has been the focus of attention like never before.
"Way too many people [have messaged]," Saba told ESPN, with a wide smirk. "I think [Vela's] brother actually responded and he actually says 'I have to ask my dad' [about the resemblance]!"
Haiti's @SteevenSaba11 on his team being warriors and that resemblance to @11carlosV ... which has gone viral in Mexico and even Vela's brother has commented on .... #goldcup pic.twitter.com/ZzT0uKpAXq— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) July 2, 2019
"I guess people see it in different ways," he continued. "Sideways, I think we have a little resemblance, forward ways I don't see the resemblance at all. But it's fun, a fun story."
In Mexico, the comparisons have gone viral, but there is also a more serious side. The 26-year-old will be involved in the biggest game of his life in front of a crowd in State Farm Stadium expected to be around 60,000.
"I think we're going to play an awesome game, we're determined to play an awesome game, we're all fighters, we're all warriors," said Saba, who has been part of a Haiti team that has won all four games so far this Gold Cup. "Coming from where we come from, it's what we do, so we're going to give it our all tomorrow and we'll where we go from there."
Saba actually featured for U.S. youth national teams, but injuries curtailed his career before his recent revival.
"To be honest, I had three knee surgeries," he said. "If it wasn't for my mom and my father, brother and sister I wouldn't be here. I spent three years without playing. I starting playing back two years ago and it was really tough, I had three knee surgeries and I went three years without playing."
Spanish club renamed Flat Earth FC
Mostoles Balompie have celebrated winning promotion to the third tier of Spanish football by rebranding the club entirely.
Henceforth, the Madrid-based team will be known as Flat Earth FC -- a move they claim will help "unite the voices of millions of terraplanistas and of all those people that look for answers."
One wonders if they'll still be playing the global game with a round ball on a flat pitch come the start of the new season.
It would appear that Mostoles' calculated pivot to flat earthery has been made at the behest of club president Javi Proves, who recently stumbled upon conspiracy theories pertaining to the shape of the planet and had his mind blown.
"Football is the most popular sport and has the most impact worldwide, so creating a club dedicated to the flat earth movement is the best way to have a constant presence in the media," Proves told Marca.
"We are united by the most important thing: an idea."
Very noble, and probably a mere coincidence that a stunt like this is also a great way to attract attention (as well as potential new fans) from all around the globe.
Proves took the publicity drive a step further on Monday night by appearing on Spanish TV and holding up a shirt with the name of Pedro Duque -- the first Spanish astronaut who flew a space shuttle mission in 1998 -- printed on the back.
Parting a sweet sorrow for Moreno and Rafa
As much as an open transfer window brings a smile to football fans' faces, there are also some farewells that must be said as players and managers move on from one team to the next.
Two such farewells came on Monday, when Alberto Moreno, who is leaving Liverpool this summer after making 141 appearances and scoring three goals in his time at Anfield -- and Rafa Benitez, the outgoing Newcastle manager, sent their heartfelt thanks to their supporters on social media.
They say you can never go home again, but based on these two "love letters" Benitez and Moreno will be welcomed back to Tyneside and Merseyside, respectively, whenever they so choose.