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Dispatches from Bat Country: January 2024 Review #3 - Defenders

Like a bat out of hell, Dier’ll be gone when the morning comes

FC Bayern München v Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/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 final installment reviewing the most Bat Country of January transfer rumors - 2024 edition! Yesterday, I covered the midfielders, and earlier in the week the forwards; which brings us to the backline, an area of particular focus in recent times.

I was simply incredible with our midfielders review, as we saw the Guano Meter of 35 totally in line with underlying stats after coming up short with the forwards. So let’s now see how I go with the defense. I meant to have this up earlier, but... ya know. I forgot. Sorry. You’re getting this quality journalism for free!

As a reminder, 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.


Willian Pacho - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • Still at Frankfurt. Potentially less likely now with the signing of Radu Dragusin
  • xBC: 4/5 - it seems we’re still looking a CB reinforcements even with the Dragusin signing (keep this in mind for ALL the CBs listed below) - but there’s not too much more on Pacho

Riccardo Calafiori - Guano Meter: 3/5

  • Still at Bologna. There’s been a couple of additional links though post-January
  • xBC: 3/5 - he does seem like one of the more likely options with a few sources indicating interest

Kou Itakura - Guano Meter: 3/5

  • Still at Gladbach; he’s Japanese so of course Ange likes him (this is a joke, obvs)
  • xBC: 4/5 - good original sourcing but lack of continued links may mean he’s dropped down the pecking order

Koki Machida - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • Still at Union SG; see above re the media potentially fabricating links to Japanese players
  • xBC: 4/5 - not amazing sourcing, but links DID continue after the signing of Dragusin


Ben Davies to Leeds - Guano Meter: 3/5

  • Obviously the injury put paid to any potential transfer; the sourcing on this was good but it was always unlikely
  • xBC: 4/5 - clearly it didn’t actually happen - but Leeds were 100% interested, and he may be one we look to offload in the summer as we continue to refresh the squad

Ryan Sessegnon to anywhere - Guano Meter: 3/5

  • Injured. Again. Poor dude can’t catch a break
  • xBC: 2/5 - injury stopped any potential departure, but I’d say he’s on his way out in the summer

Eric Dier to West Ham - Guano Meter: 5/5

  • He went to Bayern because we bought Dragusin and Harry needed a friend. LOL
  • xBC: 5/5 - yeah, this rumor was ridiculous at the time of posting because he was already one foot on the plane to Germany

Pedro Porro to Manchester City - Guano Meter: 4/5

  • Still here, and this was never going to happen in January
  • xBC: 5/5 - it was doubtful as to whether City were ACTUALLY interested, and unless Porro tries to force his way out, he’s an indispensable part of the squad and isn’t leaving

Cartilage Free Captain Bat Country performance - Guano Meter: 29 (31 xBC)
We’ve underperformed again, but only just. I don’t think you can be too unhappy, as it just feels like we got transfer’d (I’m trying to make this the transfer window equivalent of football’d, I think we can make it catch on). Maybe I should be the one transferred? Let’s turn our eyes now to the summer, and more exciting goings-on - FFS LEVY SIGN VINI JR

Overall Bat Country performance - Guano Meter: 101 (112 xBC)