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Wenger’s genius revealed as clubs face new “home grown” rule

Starting next season all EPL clubs will have to name 25 players over 21 before the season begins as their registered players list.

Eight of those players must have been developed for at least three years by an English or Welsh club before their 21st birthday.

The clubs can also have a limitless list of players under 21.

Both lists can be resubmitted at the end of the January transfer window.  At the moment the issue of transfers concluded during the summer transfer window but after the start of the EPL season (ie mid-August to September 1) has not been resolved.  As things stand they would not be able to play in the EPL – but clearly that rule will be changed.

So who can we count in our eight players developed for at least three years by an English or Welsh club before their 21st birthday?

I have not done detailed research on this, so I need some help on birthdates and checking dates of joining the club, but here’s a guess…

  1. Alex Song
  2. Johan Djourou
  3. Gael Clichy
  4. Kieran Gibbs
  5. Armand Traore
  6. Abou Diaby
  7. Cesc Fabregas
  8. Denilson
  9. Aaron Ramsey
  10. Jack Wilshire
  11. Emanuel Eboue
  12. Fran Merida
  13. Carlos Vela
  14. Theo Walcott
  15. Nic Bendtner

So we needed eight and we got 15 – which means even if some of my data is wrong, we are safely there.

That may seem easy – but if we take Liverpool I think they have a significant problem, if for no reason other than the fact that they have over 50 registered pros in the club.

What will in fact happen is that some clubs will now have to change their approach radically to have a squad of 25 including the eight “home grown” players.  And they will be trying to do it in a rush.

Of course the clubs can fill up the numbers will all sorts of kiddies, under the under 21 rule, but then they are focussing on a squad of maybe 20 – which as we know, given the way injuries are much more common now than in the past, is not enough.

Put another way, while Liverpool and Manchester IOU already have transfer problems, and while KGB Fulham might do as well (depending on their appeal against their transfer ban) Arsenal’s current policy has clearly been designed with this development in mind.

If you have any insights into how other clubs can cope with this development I’d be glad to read it.  My gut feeling is that KGB Fulham are going to struggle – because their youth development policy has been such a disaster (which is why they keep getting caught in tapping up offences).  I can’t see how Manchester Arab will adapt to this – but maybe I don’t know the pedigree of some of their players.  Wright-Phillips and a few others will qualify as home grown – but only a few.  The Tiny Totts under Arry are going to struggle to, since all he does is buy and sell brown envelopes (sorry players).

And this is the point: it stops Manchester Arabs, the KGB, Appy Arry and others just running riot and buying everything that moves.

The get-out clause for clubs (name as many under 21s as you like) won’t help much either, since few (if any clubs) have such an array of under 21s as we have.

Take a look at last night’s team in the reserves (who have played 3 won 3 this year).

Szczesnv, Gilbert, Bartley, Eastmond, Randall, Murphy, Watt, Barazite, Luke Freeman… these are all players who quite possibly could do a Gibbs and burst into the first team when needed and who would be on the under 21s list.  Several will be knocking on the door next season – all under 21.

I have no idea how long the Lord Wenger has really been plotting this approach in relation to this rule but it is a real boost to Arsenal that we are just going to adopt it without the slightest change to our playing approach, while many of our rivals will have to adjust – just at the moment when adjustment is the last thing they want to do.

Postscript: As I mentioned last time, the new HIGHBURY HIGH is due out for the league cup game.  Great article in it on the history of Arsenal and the year of anniversaries.  (Well I think it’s great, but then I wrote it).

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19 comments to Wenger’s genius revealed as clubs face new “home grown” rule

  • Abhishek

    I can surely say that Wenger time has come. Just looks like the whole Arsenal policy was in anticipation of this policy change. Great to see that nationality is not an issue and only players from these English or Welsh clubs have been included.

    I expect not only a great era from us but also a high demand for our players on loan. That would really pay us much more than what we expected from these kids.

    Can some one tell me if we can play a team in championship too. coz I really feel that loaning out our players to so many teams we should play them in a team and they would certainly do well.

  • Faron

    I dont think Eboue makes it. But it is a very strong outfit isnt it. This is What Wenger has been building while the other Managers have been spending the big buck on non home grown players.

    There is also high hopes Jay Emmanuel Thomas. Big strong midfielder.

    Conquelin will be in th HG zone by then also.

    I could mention more, but i would be writing all day.

    The Future is very Bright.

  • Nhan Le

    If policy is indeed as you stated, the market will simply be heated up for players with English background: if you can’t educate them you buy them. As for players, those with 3 years of English training will have a premium. I’m not even sure how big this premium is because the restriction is not that binding. Say, for the case of Lampards and Cole – Chelsea never grew these players but they will still qualify.

    You are right, Liverpool may suffer a little bit. But they can always go out and buy “homegrown” players from some other british clubs. Don’t forget that this rule is voted in by the majority of EPL clubs. Many will benefit from it as bigger clubs will have to pay more to acquire their British players.

  • walter

    It looks ironic to see that Arsenal “that foreigners club” can cope easy with the rule.
    Good looking in the future by AW.

  • aqqe

    Eboue does not fit the criteria, he arrived after his 21st birthday.

    This is definitely a mouth watering prospect though. I think we would even survive the horribly xenophobic and idiotic 6+5 rule if (God forbid!) it is ever introduced. I’ve been going around thinking about it just for fun, and here’s a possible 6+5 compatible Arsenal team of the future (let’s say, 4 years from now):

    Fabianski
    Hoyte-Bartley-Vermaelen-Gibbs
    Frimpong
    Fábregas-Wilshere
    Walcott-van Persie-Arshavin

    Just one example of many different combinations. Quite fun stuff to keep your mind occupied during the days, really.

  • jordan

    if a player has been at an english club for 3 years then moves to another club are they still allowed to play as they have been at the other club for 3 years??

  • Faron

    jordan, yes mate they can. as the player would have learnt his trade in an English & Welsh Team.

  • james taberman

    A credit to Arsenal and Wenger’s foresight,maybe good news for youth development here but what will happen to the strength of the Premiership?
    Many clubs (apart from the ones with sugar daddy owners ) are already struggling to attract top foreign players due to the new 50% income tax rule and weakening of sterling…

  • jbh

    SSN just reported that Chelsea are currently worst off with only 8, then Liverpool with 9. Aston (HYH) Villa best with 24. Benitez also interviewed and saying that the rule should have been introduced in 2 or 3 years not next season. Oh dear.

  • diceman

    great rule for Wenger’s Arsenal…it takes a great great deal of patience (with results and some gloomers) but it ll finally, at last, proved to be a genius plan.

    PS: wtf about a claim about RVP’s “mouthed-word”? When do footballers ever say nice things on the pitch…to me I thought that people who got offended clearly deserved it…it’s what you get when u blindly support a hedius egomaniac crimal cunt…

  • Flint McCullough

    I think you have got it a bit wrong here, Tony.

    Diaby, Denilson & Eboue definitely do not qualify as they were over 18, when they signed, & came from outside England & Wales. You can however add Mannone. Szczesny is under 21 but will also still qualify, when he reaches that age. It seems we shall find out if that is a good thing tomorrow at Liege, because one of them is going to play.

    Song should qualify as he was signed, on loan, before his 18th birthday but there could be a technicality here about a loan deal, who knows.

    Vela is ok for this season & next because he will be under 21 but I doubt he will qualify as trained for 3 years, in England as he was in Spain, even though he was our player.

    Even so we have more than enough & plenty coming through to challenge for 1st team spots in the next few years.

    The way to look at it is that you can have 17 player from anywhere + 8 trained anywhere in England & Wales, for 3 years before they were 21.

    For the immediate effect you should look at how many of the 17 you already have. We have funnily enough 17 whilst I believe Chelsea have 18 (in a squad of 24).

    I shall have to do some research but on the face of it Chelsea & Lpool may struggle more than most with this.

    Another benefit for us will be the value of our young players, who do not make it with us, is going to soar.

    Your article last week, England Youth development.., has suddenly become even more relevant. Show what foresight you have.

  • LRV

    Arsene Wenger’s foresight is just beginning to pan-out. More is still to come, to the chagrin of the doubters.

    By the way, it is nice to get our site back from the ranters.

  • Interesting point – do players qualify if they are out on loan in another country?

    No details that I can see. Shame about Denilson not qualifying – he was with us for 2 years 6 months before his 21st.

  • Adam Smith

    Tony,

    just a small point, as I understand it, it is three seasons not three years for the home grown players under 21.

  • LRV

    Tony, that still qualifies him, Denilson, I mean. His 2½ years bestride 3 seasons before his 21st birthday I think.

  • diceman

    Abit confusing this rule is eh?

    But we ll be fine any how….why can’t it started this season though? Maybe instead of buying anyone they cab then city would buy all the 15-17 years old from every team…

  • Flint McCullough

    Premier League . com

    “A home-grown player will be defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the Season during which he turns 21).‬‪”

    My reading of that is Vela will qualify, unless a player becomes unregistered, while on loan. Song was on loan to us – so would he be fully registered?

    Denilson was 21 on Feb 16 this year, so he has 3 seasons at the end of the Season during which he turns 21.‬

    Clichy signed 9 days after his 18th birthday on July 26, so unless pre season counts, he will not qualify.

  • jbh

    SSN said Clichy, Denilson and Fabregas were all examples which qualified. Remember it is turning 21 in the new year 2010.

  • Pesky things these rules