by Andrew Crawshaw
Before we get carried away with the thought of buying a stack of new players, I thought it would be a good time to have a look at the players we currently have on our books.
As we all know the Premier league has a squad limit of 25 players over the age of 21 of whom at least 7 must be’ Home Grown”.
‘Home Grown’ essentially means either qualified to play for England or Wales or has been with a UK or Welsh club for at least 3 years prior to becoming 21.
So how many over 21 players do Arsenal currently have? 20?, 25?, 30? No – according to my records we actually have 32, of whom 17 are homegrown. Here is the list :-
|International Registration||Squad No||Position||DOB||Home Grown|
|Mathieu Debuchy||France||2||RB||28 Jul 1985||N|
|Hector Bellerin||Spain||24||RB||19 Mar 1995||Y|
|Carl Jenkinson||England||25||RB||8 Feb 1992||Y|
|Aaron Ramsey||Wales||8||Mid||26 Dec 1990||Y|
|Jack Wilshere||England||10||Mid||1 Jan 1992||Y|
|Mesut Özil||Germany||11||Mid||15 Oct 1988||N|
|Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain||England||15||Mid||15 Aug 1993||Y|
|Santi Cazorla||Spain||19||Mid||13 Dec 1984||N|
|Mohamed Elneny||Egypt||35||Mid||11 Jul 1992||N|
|Kieran Gibbs||England||3||LB||26 Sep 1989||Y|
|Nacho Monreal||Spain||18||LB||26 Feb 1986||N|
|Wojciech Szczesny||Poland||1||GK||18 Apr 1990||Y|
|David Ospina||Colombia||13||GK||31 Aug 1988||N|
|Emiliano Martinez||Argentina||26||GK||2 Sep 1992||Y|
|Petr Cech||Czech Republic||33||GK||20 May 1982||N|
|Deyan Iliev||Macedonia||44||GK||25 Feb 1995||Y|
|Matt Macey||England||49||GK||9 Sep 1994||Y|
|Alexis Sanchez||Chile||7||Forward||19 Dec 1988||N|
|Olivier Giroud||France||12||Forward||30 Sep 1986||N|
|Theo Walcott||England||14||Forward||16 Mar 1989||Y|
|Yaya Sanogo||France||22||Forward||27 Jan 1993||N|
|Danny Welbeck||England||23||Forward||26 Nov 1990||Y|
|Joel Campbell||Costa Rica||28||Forward||26 Jun 1992||N|
|Wellington Silva||Brazil||58||Forward||6 Jan 1993||N|
|Francis Coquelin||France||34||DM||13 May 1991||Y|
|Granit Xhaka||Switzerland||29||CM||27 Sep 1992||N|
|Jon Toral||Spain||57||CM||5 Feb 1995||Y|
|Isaac Hayden||England||41||CB/DM||22 Mar 1995||Y|
|Per Mertesacker||Germany||4||CB||29 Sep 1984||N|
|Gabriel||Brazil||5||CB||26 Nov 1990||N|
|Laurent Koscielny||France||6||CB||10 Sep 1985||N|
|Calum Chambers||England||21||CB||20 Jan 1995||Y|
So we cannot possibly include (let alone play) all of the players we currently have on our books and a trimming down (sale or loan) of 8 players is needed before we can sign a single player. Nine if we sign two, 10 for three newcomers etc.
In addition to the 25 over 21 players a club can have as many players under 21 as they wish. My sheet lists a further 56 players down to schoolboy level who might appear for one of our teams from U18 level to the first team. Obvious candidates are Iwobi and Gnabry but there are many more.
One thing is for certain – we aren’t short of player numbers.
Goal Keepers – 6 including three full internationals. Three if not four will probably head out on loan or be sold. Cech will definitely stay as our first choice; either Ospina or Szcz as No 2 and probably Martinez, Iliev and Macey either sold or loaned.
Right Back – 3. Bellerin, Debuchy and Jenkinson. We need two so I would expect Debuchy to leave. We have cover for Jenkinson until he recovers from injury in the shape of two very able members of the U21 squad.
Left Back – 2. Monreal and Gibbs. Both good players although Monreal is getting older now and Gibbs hasn’t developed as much as many of us would have hoped. We don’t have any obvious contenders from the U21 squad so I wouldn’t be surprised at a change in this position for next season.
Centre Back – 4. Mertesacker and Koscielny are 31 and 30 respectively and possibly coming to the end of their carreers. Gabriel is still a little unconvincing, Chambers looked better when I saw him at the end of the season. U21 players a couple of years away from being able to step in so possibly a need for another player here.
Defensive Midfield – despite us not really having or needing a conventional DM we have three who would probably be classified as a DM in most other teams – Coquelin, Hayden and Elneny. Hayden possibly a candidate for a loan spell with Newcastle
Box to Box Midfield – another position where we seem to have a wealth of talent – Ramsey, Xhaka, Santi, Jack, Toral (rumoured to be going on loan to Spain). No space for any more.
Attacking Midfield – Özil, Ox, with Ramsey and Santi ready to fill in as required plus a wealth of talent from the U21s (Iwobi for one).
Forwards – 7 to choose from. Alexis, Giroud, Theo, Danny (later in the season when he recovers from injury), Joel Campbell, Wellington, and Yaya. The future of the last two is certainly in doubt and they will need a stellar pre-season to impress sufficiently to keep their places in the squad. Joel or Theo may find themselves under pressure if we make another signing. Again a wealth of talent emerging from the U21s who we may well see later in the season
Whosoever we sign between now and the end of the transfer season, we should give our full support to the entire squad is each and every game.
The Untold Preview of the Under 18, Under 19, and Under 21 squads.
- Part one – Overview and summary
- Part two – Goalkeepers and defenders
- Part three – Midfield
- Part four – Attackers