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Dispatches from Bat Country: January 2024 Review #2 - Midfielders

Nananananananananananananananana Bat Country!

Djurgardens IF v Mjallby AIF - Allsvenskan Photo by Michael Campanella/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 back to our review of all things Bat Country through the January transfer window. I covered the forwards yesterday; needless to say, we didn’t go Bat Country enough, with our Guano Meter of 37 coming up against an xBC of 46. Or did we go too deep into Bat Country? Honestly, I don’t even know what’s up and what’s down at this point.

They say that dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly insane every night of our lives; well, Bat Country is the place dreams are born, and as the wonder of what was possible grew, the days became dark until all that was left was madness...


Like I said yesterday, I’m splitting this into three parts: the first, as I mentioned above, was published yesterday, and the third will be out tomorrow. Today we’re going to focus on the midfielders 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). This is 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.


Lucas Bergvall - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • LOL we signed him - suck it Barcelona!
  • xBC: 1/5 - refer to my previous point

Noel Buck - Guano Meter: 3/5

  • Still in the US of A, still probably sucking because he’s American (don’t @ me)
  • xBC: 4/5 - probably not yet our level, and no new links - though we definitely looked at him at least

Ederson - Guano Meter: 2/5

  • Still at Atalanta, and I still want him
  • xBC: 3/5 - not too many links since the window closed but seems like the kinda guy we might be into

Joao Gomes - Guano Meter: 5/5

  • Still at Wolves. Was he ever likely to leave?
  • xBC: 5/5 - this rumor was always ridiculous and there was nothing that took the rumor beyond that

Hayden Hackney - Guano Meter: 3/5

  • Still at Middlesbrough; maybe one for the summer
  • xBC: 3/5 - not much since early in January, but some of those said he may be more of a summer option anyway

Arthur Vermeeren - Guano Meter: 5/5

  • Transferred to Atletico Madrid in January, and now off the table
  • xBC: 5/5 - yep, not happening now, even though Alasdair Gold mentioned we did take a look at him

Kalvin Phillips - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • Went on loan to West Ham. Who knows where he goes next to sit on the bench
  • xBC: 4/5 - hey, maybe we look at him in the summer! But probably not.

Joshua Kimmich - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • Still at Bayern - did you really expect anything different?
  • xBC: 5/5 - I honestly only ranked this a 4 because it was such a great Bat Country rumor; but sadly it was never realistic


Pape Matar Sarr to Barcelona - Guano Meter: 5/5

  • I mean... at least we can all have a laugh about this one
  • xBC: 5/5 - seriously, how many more jokes can I make about Barcelona being broke?

Cartilage Free Captain Bat Country performance - Guano Meter: 35 (35 xBC)
Hey, we absolutely nailed it! Of course, that’s the royal we, so I have to take full credit here - banging them in like Richy after dick surgery (ahem). It’s a welcome return to form following a poor performance by the forwards. Next up: the defenders coming tomorrow. Tune in then!