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Dispatches from Bat Country: January 2024, week three

Eric Dier loves Bayern, Bayern is... kinda into Eric Dier, I guess

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Neal Simpson/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

"'What's wrong?' I yelled. 'We can't stop here. This is bat country!'"

- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Welcome to our third installment in the 2024 edition of “Dispatches from Bat Country”. For those unfamiliar, you can check out last week’s piece. You can also find the purpose of these unread “articles” here.

In this (I hope) semi-regular... OK, I’m sure you get the gist by now. But a quick reminder on our ranking system: Each name will be accompanied by a Guano Meter, a ranking out of 5 that instead of rating how likely we think it is to happen, it instead is the complete opposite. For example, a Guano Meter of 5/5 would be something like Spurs welcoming Sol Campbell back to the club to coach the youth team. Yeah, seems realistic.


Jonathan Rowe

  • England U21 winger, currently at Norwich.
  • Do you find it hard to spell Jonothan? I find it hard to spell Jonathon.
  • Been banging in goals at Norwich - 12 in 28 this season. This, plus the English premium = pricey.
  • This is a legitimate link, so probably doesn’t even belong here - it comes from Rob Guest and Alasdair Gold. Interest, however, does not mean we’re actually going to buy him.

Guano Meter: 1/5 - we’re clearly after young, dribbly wingers, and this one is English! Plus the sourcing is good.

Joao Gomes

  • Young Brazilian central midfielder who transferred to Wolves in the last January window.
  • This mostly seems to be coming from Brazilian media, so who knows how reliable they are?
  • Continuing with the theme of posting FBRef charts with very little context or comment (but hey, his third best comparison is Oliver Skipp!):

Guano Meter: 5/5 - dubious sourcing, average player, foreign media - this is peak Bat Country.

Ederson (no, not that one)

  • Another Brazilian, another central midfielder. This one, though, is at Atalanta in Serie A and is much more exciting. I want to believe.
  • Does a bit of everything... and who am I to argue with WhoScored?
  • This link comes from Lyall Thomas, at Sky. Lyall says we’re “tracking him”. That’s the step that happens before (I think) “preparing a bid”.
  • Could potentially work in both the #6 AND #8 role (not at the same time, the guy’s not a magician).

Guano Meter: 2/5 - Decent sourcing, decent player, but nothing concrete.

Kalvin Phillips

  • English defensive midfielder and professional benchwarmer at Manchester City.
  • Wants more minutes, so is obviously leaving City to come and also not play at Spurs.
  • Is he any good? He’s okay, I guess. And he’s getting old. It wouldn’t really make sense to sell Hojbjerg and buy Phillips.
  • The sourcing on this is all over the place, with outlets mentioned in previous Dispatches included: TeamTalk, FootyInsider, the Mail (and not the good reporters).

Guano Meter: 4/5 - too much smoke to totally ignore, but just makes very little sense (and rubbished by Alasdair Gold).

Riccardo Calafiori

  • Sure, we could use another center back. This one’s at Bologna, making him the second Serie A player on our list this week.
  • He’s Italian, so you just know he doesn’t want to leave his mama’s home cooking to come and play at Burnley on a rainy Wednesday night.
  • Apparently is very comfortable on the ball, making him a great fit for Ange-ball. Can also deputize at left back.
  • The reports come from a local Bologna newspaper, claiming Spurs “have watched him and are asking about him” (paraphrased).

Guano Meter: 3/5 - honestly, the wording of the report makes it seem like agent talk to me. Maybe he needs a new contract - but it can’t be discounted. Does Il Resto del Carlino sound like a dubious rag to you?


Bryan Gil to Real Sociedad

  • The reports seem to have originated from Estadio Deportivo, a Spanish outlet, then propagated through to other aggregators.
  • Gil will likely be on his way out sooner, rather than later - especially with the signing of Timo Werner.
  • It’s a Spanish source on a Spanish player moving to a Spanish club. I dunno, seems legit.
  • Beyond interest though, there’s not much concrete here around an actual bid.

Guano Meter: 2/5 - Gil’s on his way out, but there’s still questions as to where.

Ben Davies to Leeds

  • In the last few hours there’s been reporting from The Athletic that The Whites (hey, they kinda stole our nickname) like him. So that’s a real source.
  • Lots of people (myself included) like Gentle Ben. I think Ange also likes Gentle Ben, so he’s probably not going anywhere.
  • In fact, that probably becomes an almost definitely unless we buy another left back. Reguilon’s just gone out on loan and Ryan Sessegnon’s hamstrings (more on that below) mean Davies is really the only legitimate left back cover Spurs have - he’s also (really decent) center back cover.
  • As far as I’m concerned, Davies is the perfect squad player.

Guano Meter: 3/5 - So this is real, but probably not going to happen unless Spurs sign further defensive reinforcements.

Ryan Sessegnon to anywhere

  • All it took was a seven-minute substitute appearance for Ange to say, “That’s a no from me, mate.”
  • That’s according to FootyInsider anyways, and it’s not like they know anything.
  • Let’s be honest, though: Sess’ hamstrings are Swiss cheese at this point, and he’s injured again. Stop trying to make Sess happen. It’s not going to happen.

Guano Meter: 3/5 - Yeah, Sess is probably heading out at some point. But there’s nothing actually concrete here.

That’s it from this week’s installment; let the rosterbation commence. Welcome to Bat Country.