Your absolutely right on your first point, it’s all speculation at this point. What we have to remember is as the real season starts to wind down the silly one will ramp up, and as it’s obvious we'll be in for at least one centre back we will be link with everyone and his mother. I'm not much for predictions, but I'd not be surprised if between now and August if we're not linked with Vincent Komany, John Terry, and Per Mertesacker, just because some bright spark hack will put two and two together knowing a player is reportedly not happy and we want a CB!
On the second point I agree 100%, although getting this right is the secret sauce for a successful scout. Of course if a player is not home grown he's going to have come from somewhere else, and players at big clubs most likely started at smaller club. The problem is some players seem to go up a level when you surround them with better players, while others just shrink and look invisible. Knowing which is which is the hardest part of picking out the next big thing. It's easy for some to tell you on a message board they know the differences, but professionals who have to make that decision with their livelihood on the line if they get it wrong are not perfect, so doubt any of us know for sure either.