Arsenal have too many players in the 25 man squad. Who will leave?


Arsenal’s 25 man squad

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Every summer there is an issue that lots of websites playfully ignore, while Untold struggles on desperately trying to make sense of it.  It is the issue of the 25-man squad,  which players are underage and which count as homegrown.

Here’s what we know:

The squad can contain no more than 17 players who do not fulfil “Home Grown Player” criteria.  A “Home-Grown Player” means a player who, irrespective of 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, before his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).

The remainder of the squad, up to a total of 25 players, must be homegrown.  Except for players classified as under 21, who can come into the squad over and above the 25-player limit.   But that doesn’t actually mean they are really under 21 years of age.   For the 2022/23 campaign, Under-21 players will have been born on or after 1 January 2002.  Which means they can be 22 by the season’s end, but still play without breaking the rule.

Now we have all got this wrong so often that we’ve just about given up, but at the risk of readers calling us a load of senseless turnips we are trying once again to look at the list before anyone else does. 

And what we have got at the moment is a 25 man squad of 32 players made up of 3 under 21s, 10 home grown over 21s, and 19 foreign grown over 21s.

This would mean that four of the players in the over 21s list would have to go, and at least two will have to be foreign-grown.   The group identifiers are fairly obvious – HG, and U-21.  Pepe has already been discounted.


  • Total Group-number Position / Name Country
    1 U-21-1 Karl Hein Estonia
    2 HG-1 Aaron Ramsdale HG
    3 1 Alex Rúnarsson Iceland
    4 2 Matt Turner USA
    5 3 Cédric Portugal
    6 4 Gabriel Brazil
    7 HG-2 Rob Holding HG
    8 5 Jakub Kiwior Poland
    9 6 Nuno Tavares Portugal
    10 HG-3 William Saliba France
    11 7 Kieran Tierney Scotland
    12 8 Takehiro Tomiyasu Japan
    13 9 Auston Trusty USA
    14 HG-4 Ben White HG
    15 10 Oleksandr Zinchenko Ukraine
    16 U21-2 Cătălin Cîrjan Romania
    17 11 Mohamed Elneny Egypt
    18 12 Fábio Vieira Portugal
    19 13 Jorginho Italy
    20 14 Albert Lokonga Belgium
    21 15 Martin Ødegaard Norway
    22 16 Thomas Partey Ghana
    23 HG-5 Bukayo Saka HG
    24 HG-6 Emile Smith Rowe HG
    25 17 Granit Xhaka Switzerland
    26 HG-7 Folarin Balogun HG
    27 18 Gabriel Jesus Brazil
    28 HG-8 Gabriel Martinelli HG
    29 U21-3 Marquinhos Brazil
    30 HG-9 Eddie Nketiah HG
    To be Sold Nicolas Pépé Ivory Coast
    31 HG-10 Reiss Nelson HG
    32 19 Leandro Trossard Belgium


So this gives us 32 players of whom 10 are homegrown and three are under 21 by my calculations, which if you are a regular reader you will know are often wrong.   So that takes us down to 29 players who are counted in the 25.   We don’t have to worry about the home grownness of the players because 10 are homegrown, but we have got four players too many, and even after we get rid of Pepe.

That means Arsenal have to sell or loan out four players before we can even think of buying replacements.  And those might be four from this list, or indeed all five if we want to buy someone.   (And do remember the media has us down so far to buy something like 18 players).

  • Cedric Soares – presumably to Fulham
  • Folarin Balogun – to get one more year’s experience on loan
  • Granit Xhaka – seems to have said goodbye
  • Mohamed Elneny – was seriously injured this last season; I expect him to join the training department
  • Alex Rúnarsson – a goalkeeper who appears to be fourth in the pecking order.
  • Kieran Tierney – who has been injured a lot and seems to be ready to move on.

As I say, the funny fellas who make up transfer tales all day long never consider the 25 rule, so that’s down to us, but the reality is Arsenal are going to have to sell and retire players before being able to buy.

3 Replies to “Arsenal have too many players in the 25 man squad. Who will leave?”

  1. This list is not conclusive. There are a number of players missing who are born 2001 or before. Okonkwo, Hilsson, Alebiosu, Rekik, Matt Smith, Cottrell, Akinola, Lewis, John-Jules

  2. By my calculation we could and probably should sell/release a minimum of 8-10 players this summer:

    Tavares (?)
    Elneny (?)
    Maitland – Niles will be released (thank f***)
    Akinola also released.
    Patino sold with buy back clause included.
    If it was up to me I’d probably sell all of the ones just mentioned. In my book neither of them take us closer to challenging city and the rest of big clubs, if we want to do so, we need to reconsider our transfer police for one window or two and balance the squad with a better quality bench players too.

    Obviously the sales will influence how many ‘home grown’ players we will be looking to sign. And that’s the tricky part as we all know those come at a premium rate nowadays, to the point of ridiculous £90mil price tag for a guy with less than 12 months left on a contract.

  3. I agree Atid, I was trying to limit the list to the players likely to start games or be regular subs who appear in the forthcoming season.

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