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Dispatches from Bat Country: January 2024 Review #1 - Forwards

Let’s talk about Bat Country, let’s talk about you and me

AFC Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest - Premier League Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth 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

Well, the January window is done and dusted, after it slammed shut with more of a whimper than a bang; at least, that was the case for many other clubs because Tottenham Hotspur are massive.

But was the window all it could have been? Did the club go full Bat Country? Did we here at Cartilage Free Captain Towers go full Bat Country?

Let’s review.

I’m splitting this into three parts, partly for readability, partly because I’m lazy, because there’s so many damn names. I’ll publish these over the next three days; today we’re going to focus on the forwards to whom we were dubiously linked over the course of January.

We used a ranking system, where each name was accompanied by a Guano Meter over the course of the series, a ranking out of 5 that instead of rating how likely we thought it was to happen, it instead was the complete opposite. For the purpose of this review, we’ve now pulled a new made-up stat out of our butt, expected Bat Country (or xBC - conveniently also expected Bat Crap). This represents where we SHOULD have ranked the transfer, with the benefit of hindsight and in some cases further reporting and/or movement. How did the Guano Meter perform against xBC? Read on to see.


Serhou Guirassy - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • Still at Stuttgart; some links saying we’re still interested in the summer
  • xBC: 4/5 - we thought this was unlikely, and though it could still happen, it’s probably not

Dominic Solanke - Guano Meter: 5/5

  • Still at Bournemouth; was it ever likely he’d leave midseason?
  • xBC: 5/5 - there’s pretty much nothing to say this had any legitimacy

Joshua Zirkzee - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • Still at Bologna; not too many links since earlier in January
  • xBC: 5/5 - why did I trust Ben Jacobs? This really should have been a 5

Roony Bardghji - Guano Meter: 2/5

  • Still at Copenhagen; some links saying we are still interested
  • xBC: 3/5 - we clearly like him, and the links are still there; but he doesn’t seem too high on our list

Antonio Nusa - Guano Meter: 3/5

  • Still at Club Brugge after his body betrayed him en route to Brentford
  • xBC: 2/5 - we were damn close to signing him, but he opted for Brentford; unfortunately for him his physical problems means he’s unlikely to sign for a top club any time soon

Ibrahim Osman - Guano Meter: 5/5

  • According to The Athletic, he’s just signed for Brighton (for the summer). Damn, maybe we should’ve signed him?
  • xBC: 5/5 - Ben Jacobs (see above, boo) said we were still keen for the summer, but that’s likely all over now!

Stanis Idumbo Muzambo - Guano Meter: 2/5

  • Signed for Sevilla; that likely means he’s off the table (at least for now)! That means I don’t have to be embarrassed about misspelling his name in the original Bat Country dispatch
  • xBC: 5/5 - See above - pretty much off the market due to signing for another club

Jonathan Rowe - Guano Meter: 1/5

  • Still at Norwich
  • xBC: 4/5 - though the early sourcing was good, no further links since the start of Jan

Morgan Gibbs-White - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • Still at Nottingham Forest. Were we ever really that interested?
  • xBC: 5/5 - honestly, I never thought this was likely and the sourcing was never good

Sebastian Szymanski - Guano Meter: 5/5

  • Still at Fenerbahce. Did we expect anything different?
  • xBC: 5/5 - this was always fully Bat Country


Bryan Gil to anywhere - Guano Meter: 2/5

  • Still at Tottenham, though I blame him. Brighton DID try to sign him on loan...
  • xBC: 3/5 - Spurs were happy for him to leave, and I don’t seem him staying beyond the summer

Cartilage Free Captain Bat Country performance - Guano Meter: 37 (46 xBC)
We’ve underperformed expectations here. It’s almost like Neal Maupay is writing these pieces, the number of tap-ins missed by this author! There’s still hope, however: we have the midfielders and defenders coming for you in the next couple of days. Tune in then!