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Dispatches from Bat Country: January 2024, week four

Will Gil get gone?

Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/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 fourth installment in the 2024 edition of “Dispatches from Bat Country”. For those unfamiliar, you can check out last week’s piece (where I totally forgot to update the header image and dek, but ya know). You can also find the purpose of these unread “articles” here.

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 organizing a testimonial for club legend Mido.

Incomings

Joshua Zirkzee

  • Dutch forward with a name that sounds like he’s descended from the dude that took on the 300 Spartans.
  • Currently at Bologna; was at Bayern before that, coming through their academy (via Feyenoord’s youth system).
  • Seems to be the embodiment of Roberto Soldado in some ways - not great goalscoring numbers for a forward, but seems to play provider a LOT for a forward. What kind of weird system do Bologna play? Pffft, I don’t do research for these articles.
  • Italian tabloids and CaughtOffside... an interesting sourcing combo.

Guano Meter: 4/5 - seems odd, with numbers, age profile, and bad sourcing - but Arsenal are tenuously linked, and it would be fun to piss them off; or would the better punishment be to let him go there and be bad?

Sebastian Szymanski

  • Polish attacking midfielder playing in the Turkish league. Maybe he’s shared a kebab with Tanguy at some point? Probably not since Szymanski is at Fenerbahce, who don’t exactly love Galatasaray.
  • A mid-20’s AM from a Turkish tabloid. Oh boy. This is what this series is all about.
  • Apparently “Ange has identified him as a target”. Strong wording there.
  • Continuing with the theme of posting FBRef charts with very little context or comment and this is hilarious, albeit misleading:

Guano Meter: 5/5 - never go full Bat Country.

Noel Buck

  • An American this time! Could he be the latest in a long line of American footballers to totally and utterly disappoint in the Premier League after being completely overhyped because USA! USA! USA!?
  • Me going into too much detail here will reveal to all of the MLS watchers just how much I’m talking out my butt, but in terms of his central midfield role he seems to be someone who is comfortable on the ball, with good defensive instincts.
  • He’s young, so has age on his side; so this would likely be one for the future. A jump to the first team seems a bridge too far at this point.
  • This comes from Alastair Gold, who said we “previously showed interest” in Buck. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but if Gold said we were interested then we likely were.

Guano Meter: 3/5 - Decent sourcing, but at this point it just seems like routine scouting - nothing more.

Koki Machida

  • Center back at Union SG in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League. Hmmm.
  • Do the media think Ange just wants to buy every half-decent Japanese player out there?
  • We’ve been linked to a few players from the Belgian league this window, something I find interesting - maybe Spurs are getting better at looking more in-depth into previously untapped markets?
  • Seems very comfortable on the ball, with good passing and carry numbers; however, hard to determine how much of that is “weak league” effect.
  • 7SUR7, a Belgian outlet, are the ones reporting this. They have a Wikipedia page consisting of two short paragraphs... so not likely I would think.
  • With that said... ANOTHER Belgian outlet, Voetbal Belgie, reported on this just before the January window opened. That makes me think that maybe there’s something here?

Guano Meter: 4/5 - I can’t totally ignore this - but it’s so hard to verify sourcing, and none of the top tier journos (yep, totally gonna include myself in there) have picked up anything yet.

Outgoings

Bryan Gil to... you name it

  • So last week we had our favorite Ringo Starr impersonator off to Real Sociedad. This week, it’s Lazio. Wait, I mean Sevilla. Wait...
  • According to Corriere Dello Sport, Tottenham no longer want him. Aw, that’s a bit sad, he’s only a child! What, he’s 22? With those legs?
  • In all honesty though - there’s just not really a place for him in the squad anymore. He’ll either leave in January or in the summer.
  • He could be going anywhere - there’s still nothing actually concrete now and it seems like there’s a few sides interested..

Guano Meter: 2/5 - Gil’s on his way out, but there’s still questions as to where. Hey, that’s what I said last week!

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