New limit on players next season: how it affects Arsenal

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And first an apology for the author

I am here today to admit I screwed up big time. Yesterday two correspondents wrote to ask if it were true that from next season there would be a limit on the number of players registered in our first team squad. I said no.

And as you probably know but were much too polite to say, I got that 100% the wrong way round. When I said “no”, what I meant to say was “yes”. Ignorance is strength, as I happened to comment yesterday.

So here’s the long and the short, the high and the low, the low down the… well you get the idea.

From the start of next season EPL clubs must register a squad with a limit of 25 players. Eight of those named must be aged 21 or under and must also qualify as ‘home-grown’.

To qualify as home grown, a player will have had to be registered for at least three seasons at an English or Welsh club between the ages of 16 and 21.

So who have we got. I’ve started by taking players that might expect to be part of the show, and for the most part kept their current squad number – or fitted it into the gaps in the 1 to 25.

Obviously it doesn’t work as it stands because there is talk of new signings, so some of this list will have to go. I’ve also done this quickly and not checked everything (see, I have learned my lesson and am now covering myself from further errors), but I think the players marked HG will qualify as home grown and be under 21. But I am not sure – maybe you can help me out here. I am useless at people’s birthdays even when they are in my own family, and I have to toddle along to the old sweat shop shortly so I haven’t got time to check them out.

HG is under 21 and home grown

1 Almunia
2 Diaby
3 Sagna
4 Fabregas HG – or is he over 21 now?
5 Vermaelen
6 Bendtner HG
7 Rosicky
8 Nasri
9 Eduardo
10 Nordtveit HG
11 Van Persie
12 Vela HG
13 Traore HG LEAVING?
14 Walcott HG – now over 21?
15 Denilson
16 Ramsey HG
17 Song
18 Gibbs HG
19 Wilshire HG
20 Djourou HG
21 Fabianski
22 Clichy
23 Arshavin
24 Mannone
25 Eboue

No Gallas, no Merida, no Campbell, no new players, no JET, nor anyone else stepping up from the junior level, no Eastmond – it seems a restriction on bringing new players in rather than anything else.

But I get the feeling we will bring in three new players this summer, so what we need to do is…

  • Probably bring in some other HG players as I could be way out on the dates of birth.
  • Clear three places for new comers

The other way of looking at this is by position and this is helpful since it allows us to step aside from the debate about specific players who might be replaced by someone else of that position.

3 goalkeepers – the obvious 3

4 full backs – Sagna, Clichy, Gibbs, Eboue

4 central defenders, Vermaelen, Djourou, Nordtveit, Campbell?

6 midfield, Cesc, Nasri, Ramsey, Diaby, Denilson, Song

6 forwards, Theo, Bendtner, Van P, Arshavin, Eduardo, Rosicky

2 spare: Wilshire, Vela

On that basis I fear Eduardo might go to make way for one of the newcomers.

So what else can we do?

  • We can have a different squad for Europe – I think there you can have unlimited under 21s
  • A different squad for League Cup
  • A different squad for FA Cup
  • Start playing more friendlies for the reserves so that they get more games
  • Put more and more out on loan

So presumably if a player does not quality for your 25 and doesn’t have a place in the league cup squad, FA cup squad, loan system etc he goes up for sale. I wonder if this will result in anyone leaving us, and anyone interesting coming up for sale in other teams where they can’t fit in.

Even if I have got the dates of birth wrong we have good players coming through who will qualify – Jay Emmanuel Thomas looks possible, and I have already included Nordtveit.  Barazite was looking good to me too as did Coquelin.

There is also the issue of special dispensation and topping up numbers for long term injury.  Man City after all have just been allowed to sign a goalkeeper out of time, and we don’t have the limits yet.

Two things become very clear however

First if we are going to sign two or three new players this summer we have got to lose two or three from that list – but obviously that will mean position for position.

Second this gives a new insight into the way the squad has developed this year.  The failure to buy a centre back in January, highlighted in correspondence yesterday, could well be down to this issue – there was no point buying someone in January on a five year contract if the player would then not fit into the 25 this August.

Anyway, there  we are thus far – my apologies for not noticing the regs before, and if there are any other fatal errors I have made in terms of the way football is being organised next season, do let me know.

Tony Attwood


57 Replies to “New limit on players next season: how it affects Arsenal”

  1. Tony, the 8 HG players must be OVER 21, not under. There is an unlimited number of under 21’s allowed. That kinda changes things as far as your post goes, but i enjoyed it all the same.

  2. Interesting read.

    There are other players that have ended up becoming fringe players, such as: the once promising, Traore; electrifying pace and not bad at crossing. Why did we end up stock-piling the leftback position when we could have been developing them as attacking left midfielders?

    Wenger likes to shuffle his pack to aid development, yet when it came to Walcott, he’s left him to play on the right wing where he has been very disappointing. I was hoping Wenger would switch play (especially in the last few minutes of some games) and slot Theo in upfront – just to see how he has ‘developed’, if that is what the grand scheme is.

    There is also a feeling that players are coming to Arsenal and not fulfilling the expectation, or matching the kind of form that they are capable of, especially when you look back over pre-Arsenal clips on You Tube. This can be said of Samir Nasri who just hasn’t really stamped his authority on the league as yet – but he clearly is a fantastic prospect – and herein lies the question: when will the prospects really become what they’re purported, or promised to be?

    Please Mr Wenger, make some changes; Arsenal is a fantastic club and an exciting team to watch. But we need to tighten up at the back, in the middle. Vermaelen has been immense; while we continue to cultivate and develop young, promising and talented ‘prospects’, can we – at least – pair Thomas with a dependable centre-back and further cement them in with an authoritative goalkeeper? Please?

    If Song continues to make that DM role his own, I’ll settle for that as he is a determined individual with a good understanding of the players around him.

  3. If the rule is over or under 21, I think that Campbell should be named in every Carling and Fa Cup game. His experience, desire and leadership would surely help us get into the final of each Cup. Sol will become the new Silvestre, the difference being he is an Arsenal legend. Who wouldn’t want to learn from Sol himself?

  4. There is a rumor, and i pray that is all it turns out to be, that Sol may go off to the States as his involvement next season will be non-existent bar the odd cup game. With the form he’s showing he really should be playing and i would love to see him in this summer, and maybe then he’ll be too exhausted to make the trip to the states and decide to stay here and teach our squad how to fight with passion.

  5. The player can be any age, doesnt have to be OVER or UNDER 21, any age. I think Sol Campbell would even qualify…

    There is also no limit on players under the age of 21, thus allowing the young players more of a chance.

  6. Walter, once the first 11 are kicked to pieces there theoretically should be another complete backup 11 +3 all over the age of 21 to take their places.
    And God forbid that second 11 are wiped of the face of the earth then there is the B-list squad to the rescue.

  7. the B-list are all the under 21’s which in our case includes Jack, Rambo, Gibbs, Eastmond, Vela..etc.

  8. Here you go Tony: From the horse’s mouth (hmmm knowing the things that emanate from the FA, maybe that’s the wrong end.)

    Home-grown quota for Premier League
    The Premier League will introduce a squad cap of 25 players and a quota on home-grown players from next season.

    The 20 clubs have agreed the introduction of a home-grown player rule, which will take effect at the start of the 2010/11 campaign.

    From next season, clubs must include eight home-grown players out of a squad of 25.‬‪

    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).‬‪

    Clubs will be able to supplement their squads with unlimited additional players under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences.

    Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window.‬‪

    Chief executive Richard Scudamore confirmed: “As of next season clubs will be required to have a squad named of up to 25 players, of which no more than 17 can be over the age of 21 and not home grown.

    “The definition of home grown is trained for three years under the age of 21 by somebody in the English and Welsh professional system.

    “Clubs will have to declare their 25 at the end of August when the window shuts and then again at the end of January.”

    Premier League Academies have 320 scholars aged between 16 and 18 and a further 2,486 students aged under 16. ‬‪

    Over 85 per cent of Academy scholars (16 – 18 years of age) are British, a proportion that rises to around 95 per cent for students (under 16 age groups).‬‪

    Academic standards, as judged by Ofsted, are good and the welfare of the young people is of paramount importance to the Premier League and its clubs.

  9. Right so scratch what i said then. Under 21’s ARE included in the 25 man squad.
    Sorry Tony! how did i ever doubt you?

  10. Tony,the rule is for over 21..for under 21 can include the rule = 25 players including 8 homegrown over 21 + unlimited under ur listed no accurate enough..heh

  11. So you must have 8 players under 21 and 8 home grown players but those can be over 21 in your squad?
    And when you want +25 players you have to put them on another list? A reserve list or so?

    When people start like that I always begin to feel uncomfortable.
    They start with the -21 rule.
    And then the Home grown rule
    and then we need at least 7 black people
    and then we need at least 2 Azian people
    and then we need at least 1 gay player
    and then we need at least 1 red haired
    and then we need at least 1 bold player
    and then we need at least 1 deaf player
    and then we need at least 1 blind player
    and then we need at least 1 player with nog legs…..

    and don’t forget your manager must be blind but that is OK for us as some fans say he is.

    Once you start with ruling how a squad should look like you start walking on a slope and before you know it the slope is a cliff and you tumble down.

  12. I would say: just leave it to the managers to decide which squad they want to have.

  13. Just to clarify, if it is a clarification, this is what is says on the site

    From the 2010/11 campaign, top-flight clubs must register a squad with a limit of 25 players. Moreover, eight of those named must be aged 21 or under and qualify as ‘home-grown’ *.

    They then put in the home grown definition, which is where I got my definition from.

    So that seems to say there must be eight players under 21 who are also qualified under the home grown rule.

  14. Jack, i conceed the U21’s can be included in the 25 man squad but to say only the U21’s can be considered HG is not true and it does not state that anywhere in the offical FA statement. So long as a player has been trained in England or Wales for 36 months prior to turning 21 he is classified as HG, and that will continue to be the case post turning 21. Players such as Cesc, Djourou Clichy, Traore, Campbell, Bendtner and Song are still HG.
    Or am i just having a very confused morning?

  15. Sorry Tony..i’m wrong..this is what Scudmore have said..As of next season clubs will be required to have a squad named of up to 25 players, of which no more than 17 can be over the age of 21 and not home grown,” Scudamore said.

  16. Sir Tony,

    There’s no age limit on the so-called homegrown players, so Campbell & Merida would both qualify. Clichy, Mannone, Song & Denilson would also qualify.

    I agree it’s a restriction on bringing players through if any one such player would be the 26th name on the squad list.

  17. ACLF did a story on it on Sunday and linked to the Premier League official statement on the rule. ACLF story:

    Premier League statement:,,12306~1797582,00.html

    Here’s the part that clarifies the confusion:

    The 20 clubs have agreed the introduction of a home-grown player rule, which will take effect at the start of the 2010/11 campaign.

    From next season, clubs must include eight home-grown players out of a squad of 25.‬‪

    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).‬‪

    Clubs will be able to supplement their squads with unlimited additional players under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences.

    Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window.‬‪

  18. I’m beginning to think that the ones who wrote those rules are from Belgium. 🙂 Ceci n’est pas une pipe could become : Ceci n’est pas un home grown. Pardon my french. But no one realy seems to know how one must read and understand it.

    We now have 30 players in our squad and does this mean we have to offload 5 of them? The rules are written by the D&G brigade is another possibility…

  19. By my reckoning we have the following additional HG players;
    Gael Clichy
    Vito Mannone

  20. Doesn’t matter what age a player is the rules simply mean that 8 out of the 25 must be deemed HG. To be deemed HG, a player must have spent at least 3 years registered with a club from either England or Wales prior to his 21st birthday. The term ‘Home Grown’ is misleading as it includes players like Cesc who spent the required term in the jurisdiction prior to his 21st birthday, but is definitely ‘Grown in Espana’. I’m sure his parents will forgive any offence.

    Wonder how this rule will effect clubs like Chelsea or Man City?

  21. I think the home grown rule is not that difficult for most of the clubs. I think the age rule is more a problem.

  22. There is no age rule. “No more than 17 players must be over 21 AND not HG”. This means the remaining 8 must be either under 21 OR HG.
    We could have a squad of 40 year olds if we wanted as long as 8 of them were deemed HG (ie spent 3 years at an English or Welsh club prior to their 21st birthday).

    So much for “A country called Europe”, roll on the day !!

  23. I think I leave it to the professeur to find it out. After all, he is le professeur.

  24. One of the statements from either the FA website or is wrong. The FA are saying the HG players don’t still have to be U21, they just have to have been registered at an English or Welsh club for a combined total of 36 months before turning 21. Scuddamore makes a meal of it but he says no more than 17 of the 25 can be over 21 AND not homegrown. So the 8HGs can(maybe must?) be both. It also says that the team can supplement with unlimited U21s IN JANUARY. Some seniors will leave due to this rule.

  25. Arsenal are actually brilliantly poised for this rule, more than any other club, it seems. It will hardly affect us.

    First, let me clarify the rule.

    It’s not about age, it’s about having 8 “HOMEGROWN” players in a squad of 25 (IRRESPECTIVE of AGE) + unlimited UNDER 25’s.

    A “HOMEGROWN” player is one who has been registered (trained) with an English or Welsh club for THREE YEARS between the ages of 16-21. So from the current squad the players that qualify as HG and can be included in the required 8 are:

    Szchezny – PL/CL1,
    Campbell – PL/CL2,
    Clichy – PL/CL3,
    Gibbs – PL/CL4,
    Djouru – PL/CL5,
    Diaby – PL/CL6,
    Denilson – PL/CL7,
    Ramsey – PL/CL8,
    Song – PL/CL9,
    Fabregas – PL/CL10,
    Walcott – PL/CL11,
    Bendtner – PL/CL12,
    Vela – PL/CL13

    So we have well more than 8! – in fact thats more than double the quota, then the rest of the 10 players would be:

    NewGloalie – PL/CL14,
    Fabianski/Almunia – PL/CL15,
    Vermaelan – PL/CL16,
    NewDefender/Gallas – PL/CL17,
    Eboue – PL/CL18,
    Sagna – PL/CL19,
    Arshavin – PL/CL20,
    Rosicky – PL/CL21,
    Nasri – PL/CL22,
    VanPersie – PL/CL23,
    Eduardo – PL/CL24,
    NewStriker – PL/CL25.

    Those that are numbered PL/CL are our “registered” 25 that may be reserved for the Premier League and Champions League, which even includes space for 3 new signings in key positions!, but we can also include those in the first list that are not in the list of 25 as well because they are under 21! and we can have an unlimited number more of these!, so therefore for the PL we can also have in our squads those that were left out of the original 25, and more such as:

    Mannone, Traore, Eastmond, Wilshere, Merida + some new “apprentices” such as:

    Barazite, Emannuel-Thomas, Bartley, Nordtvenlt, Cuise, Coquelin, Lansbury, Randall, Freeman, Watt, Sunu, Afobe

    Those that are not getting much game time (and there will be loads – as you can see from the list), will easily cover the FA and Carling Cups!

    How many of the other top 4 or even PL teams can boast a list like that?

    We should be OK.

  26. Sorry dec I see you already said that. I’m using a phone at work so always behind.

  27. First a typo in my post above, we can have unlimited players under 21, not 25, but thats doesn’t affect the list I gave above.

    Now to clear up the confusion of what Scudamore said.

    He said you cannot have more than 17 players over 21 who are not HG. That doesn’t mean you can’t have more than 17 over 21, confused? as long as those over 21 are HG (ie. they have spent 3 years between the age of 16-21 with and English/Welsh club) they are fine. They can’t be over 21 and not be HG is what Scunds said.

  28. Tony, Now you see why i was worried. I think we are one of the few lucky clubs. We can decide not to buy and we’ll still do well. Though i think we can let a few non HG players leave n substitute them.This means we cant have villa, messi, maldini, casillas, mourinho, hiddink that we all have been clamouring for. Le Prof knows

  29. Walter, actually you are right, they are from Belgium if you read the small print. Is there a gender clause as several under 21’s have a habit of a sex change. 😉

  30. Alex is the only one that seems to know exactly what the rule is (I say seems to know because I have also read the official FA statement and he’s got it pretty much word for word). No offense Tony (I love your blogs) but the Arsenal website isn’t an authority on FA bureaucracy. The official premier league website states:

    “The 20 clubs have agreed the introduction of a home-grown player rule, which will take effect at the start of the 2010/11 campaign.

    From next season, clubs must include eight home-grown players out of a squad of 25.‬

    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).

    Clubs will be able to supplement their squads with unlimited additional players under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences.”

    This clearly states that of the 25 officially registered first team player 8 must have been registered with an English or Welsh team for 36 months (continuously or not) prior to his 21st birthday . Which means for instance Steven Gerrard would count in this 8 even though he is well over 21. “The definition of home grown is trained for three years under the age of 21 by somebody in the English and Welsh professional system.”

    The remaining 17 can be any age and have trained anywhere. Furthermore, a club can have unlimited under 21s that have been trained anywhere to supplement the officially registered squad. Scudamore states, “We think it will give clubs an extra incentive to invest in youth. We think that one of the benefits will be that it will help the England team.”

    Here is the website where you can read the official statement:,,12306~1797582,00.html

    It seems to me that this actually plays right into Wenger’s hands. “Project youth” ultimately means we are beyond complying with this ruling.

    Players that qualify as HG by the Premier League’s statement that are currently first team players for Arsenal:

    Mannone, Clichy, Djourou, Gibbs, Traore, Eastmond, Song, Cesc, Denilson, Ramsey, Wilshere, Merida (gone), Vela (he cut his teeth in Spain but all the while being affiliated with Arsenal), Bendtner, Walcott

    That’s 15 HG players in the first team. We have 14 other players who don’t qualify as HG in the first team so that means at this point we comply. Wenger can drop 7 of the players on the list that are under 21 and HG (and still use them whenever he wants) plus an unlimited amount of players in their class/age grouping. That leaves Wenger the possibility to sign 3 players that aren’t HG or under 21.

    Which is the magic number we all expect/crave Wenger to buy.

    Hopefully this has been helpful and 100% accurate.


  31. I think we’d struggle if we had to include only non-HG players! thats how made we are for this rule!

    The list I gave above proves two things:

    1. Our Youth Setup/Academy ARE producing players at an astonishing rate, whereas as other teams feel lucky if they produce 1 player every few years, when we are producing a few players EVERY year!

    2. Wenger saw this all coming, and prepared us for it – he is a GENIUS and soon everyone will admit that.

  32. And to think they keep referring to Arsenal as all foreign and with little English/Homegrown players, when after the rule comes into force, Arsenal will be (according to the HG definition) the MOST English/Homegrown team of all!

    Arsene Wenger is truly a great Manager.

  33. Thanks everyone – and my further apologies for using the Arsenal site for my information. I think their summary of the info is there to fit in with Arsene Wenger’s commentary, rather than the absolute truth.

    But now here’s a thing…

    How well are our main rivals set up to meet this rule? Which club will run into problems.?

  34. Quite amusing this confusion. Anyway the CFCs seems to be as confused:

    According to this source Liverpool and Chelsea are worst of with both teams having exactly 8 HGs this season. J.Cole has a good advantage in negotations over his contract hey! Hopefully he’ll take a lot of Romans cash and stay injured for another four years.

    A question: If Clichy came to wondeful Arsenal in July when he was 18 years and a month does he comply for HG ? Do the FA mean three years or three seasons?

    Love your work Tony

  35. Tony,

    I wrote a very similar article last week when the Wenger story broke and received much the same criticism. It doesn’t help that Scudamore uses a double negative to describe the rule:

    “As of next season clubs will be required to have a squad named of up to 25 players, of which no more than 17 can be over the age of 21 and not home grown.

    The definition of home grown is trained for three years under the age of 21 by somebody in the English and Welsh professional system.”

    I still think there’s something in the dot com’s interpretation of the rule and have asked for clarification.

  36. This also means clubs will be contacting us soon for our youth players. More money people.

  37. I think that part of the confusion about these new rules stems from problems in interpreting & communicating them with clarity.

    And, in my book, Richard Scudamore’s comments and the official Arsenal website have both added to the confusion.

    My understanding of the new rule changes are as follows:

    From next season, clubs will have a limit of 25 players in their first team squads for the premier league.

    Of those 25 players, 8 of them must qualify as being home grown players.

    The definition of home grown players has already been set out in a number of comments above this one…but the key thing I want to point out here is that the definition applies irrespective of the age or nationality of the players in question.

    Irrespective of the age or nationality in question…that means that the home grown players can be of any age…providing they meet the 3 year qualifying period between the ages of 16 to 21 by being on the books of a club registered with the English or Welsh Football Associations.

    The remaining 17 players out of the 25 man first team squad can be of any age, of any nationality, and it doesn’t matter whether they qualify as being home grown or not.

    If, however, some of the remaining 17 players out of the 25 man first team squad also qualify as being home grown, then that may or may not be a bonus for the manager.

    Those players who were under 21 as at the 1st January 2010 can be used to supplement the 25 man first team squad – in unlimited numbers – at any time during the 2010/2011 season, which is when the new rules come into effect.

    Some of these under 21 players will become problematic for the manager during the season if they have already reached the age of 21 by the 1st January 2011.

    At that point, the manager can either:

    a) include them in his 25 man first team squad, whilst culling
    some of the existing players in that squad.

    b) send them out on loan, perhaps with inflationary effects on
    the terms of any such loans, if they qualify as home grown

    c) sell them, again with perhaps inflationary effects on the
    terms of any such transfers, if they qualify as home grown

    I think that one of the negative effects of the new rules is that, over a period of time, it may indirectly cause some of those players in their late 20s/early 30s to have an even shorter “shelf life”, as managers will be under unnecessary pressure to make room within their squads for on-going intakes of younger players, i.e. those who were formerly under 21.

    I can see why Arsene has talked about these rules potentially causing players to be unemployed.

  38. Denilson born February 16th 1988. Joined Arsenal August 31 2006 at 18 and a half = only trained for two and a half years in England before celebrating his 21st birthday on the 16th of February 2009.

    So i guess he doesn’t qualify for HG. Don´t know if Im right though…

    Anyway it doesn’t seem to be a problem for us. Just another justification for Arsenes youthpolicy.

  39. did they have to make this rule so fucking complicated?

    i don’t have any real opinion on the nature of the rule at the moment and will give it some time before deciding what i think, but one thing is for sure. it is FAR too complicated.

    i foresee the fa scrapping this after a year or two after realising how badly designed this rule seems to be.

  40. We have 24 players either home grown or under 21 for next season. As of right now.

    The following 13 are not homegrown and count against the 17 slots.

    We have a lot of room here. And there are one or two obvious slots here which could open (Silvestre, Almunia, Eduardo and maybe Gallas).

    Chamakh would assume one of these slots.


  41. Some of these will obviously go. Silvestre for one. And Chamakh will add to the non-home-grown.

    It looks like we have been exceptionally well planned. This will be the story of the summer (for the Premier League anyway)

    25 squad – max. Of these 17 (MAX) can be non-homegrown over 21s. We have 14 on the books currently. From next season a club cannot employ more than 25 players over 21s in total.

    Homegrown = ANY nationality who training in England/Wales for 36 months before turning 21.

    For next season…Under 21 = born 1st January 1989 or later. Walcott will count and therefore not need to be registered in the 25.

    1 Almunia (1)
    2 1 (HG) Mannone
    3 Fabianski (2)
    4 Sanga (3)
    5 2 (HG) Senderos
    6 Silvestre (4)
    7 Gallas (5)
    8 Vermaelen (6)
    9 3 (HG) Djourou
    10 4 (HG) Clichy
    11 5 (HG) Traore
    12 6 (HG) Campbell
    13 Diaby (7)
    14 Rosicky (8)
    15 7 (HG) Cesc
    16 Nasri (9)
    17 Eboue (10)
    18 Arshavin (11)
    19 8 (HG) Song
    20 9 (HG) Denilson
    21 Eduardo (12)
    22 RVP (13)
    23 Bendtner (14)
    24 Under 21 Gibbs
    25 Under 21 Szczesny
    26 Under 21 Merida
    27 Under 21 Wilshere
    28 Under 21 Walcott
    29 Under 21 Botelho
    30 Under 21 Nordviet
    31 Under 21 JET
    32 Under 21 Eastmond
    33 Under 21 Watt
    34 Under 21 Barazite
    35 Under 21 Lansbury
    36 Under 21 Vela
    37 Under 21 Ramsey

  42. Last thing. All of those mouthy Gooners who are not spouting off about sacking Wenger should consider this.

    We now have the BIGGEST squad (see above) in England.


    The new rules mean the following. The key to success is now….

    1. Quality
    2. Planning
    3. Academy

    There is no such thing as ‘big squad’ in the old sense any longer. Everyone can employ ONLY 25 professional players over 21 from now on.

    DEPTH is now wholly reliant upon academy quality. And planning.

  43. I havent seen enough of the reserve matches this year to be honest. Does anyone know how many of these players look likely to be able to step up next year as in who and why ?
    Apart from Jack Wiltshire and Maybe Woznick in goals I would like to hear who really is promising amongst the others.

  44. RedGun…. our Under 21s… who WONT count against the 25 player cap include…


    This makes our squad (at least) 33 players big… all but Szczesny here have first team Premier League experience too. Some of these have quite a lot of first team experience.

    NONE count against the 25 player cap.

  45. What will be very very very interesting… is if Arsenal FC do NOT employ 25 players over 21 next season and instead used players like Walcottm, Gibbs and Vela.


    Because the club would be ignoring the obvious advantage that these players DO NOT COUNT for the 25 man squad. And doing so only to save money.

    This would be totally unacceptable. The new rules are a massive advantage for Arsenal FC given

    – that we have fantastic quality
    – are well planned
    – have a top drawer academy

    To piss away the advantage of having top class under 21s who would not count against the 25 squad should be the point where supporters actually storm the Emirates and force the club to use EACH AND EVERY slot of the 25 and 17 non home grown.

  46. Of your list Tony, Cesc is 22 but Theo was 21 in March this year. Mannone might be young enough, and Sczezeny will be.

    Out of interest, as you need 18 players for each squad, what happens if you injure 2 goalkeepers (3 if you decide to nominate 3) or you get 7 or more injuries? Are you allowed to draft someone in or must you make do with an inadequate bench??

    People would go for Nordweit not Kyle Bartley?? I dunno, hardly seen either. But it’s a choice to be made I guess…….

    Looking at your list I’d say add a goalie, an attacker and someone who can stand in for/compete with Song, if he’s injured/suspended or he needs to stand in at Centre Back. You might also look at Djourou, Campbell and Nordweit and say: not quite strong enough…….

  47. let d FA fuck up tanx bcos Kanu made me watch the premiership first and Henry.t now they dnt want us to watch EPL again let them. i know i will b watching nonsence football this is the dawnfall of english football

  48. i dont see what all the panicking .If you want to,learn how the rule work try playing Football Manager like me it s easy 😛
    Homegrow (as the rule say) Cecs,clichy,Song,bendy,denilson are homegrow by rule and vela need one more year as he [play only 2 year with us.Few of our back up are under 21 easily for now so not a problem
    EXemple for this year team 25 list
    Gk :big AL/fabianski
    MID: Arshavin/Rosicky/Nasri/Song/Denilson/Cecs/Diaby/theo
    ATT: VanPersie/Eduardo/Bendy
    All the major first team 6 are already homegrow 2 to find and we are still 3 place for over 21.We have alot under 21 player who dont need register on the 25 list like gibbs/eastmond/vela/mannone/ramsey/traore/Jet/Bartley/Wilshere/Barazite/Coquelin….etc so plenty of back up.
    So all this will depend on the transfer this summer with arrival and departure.We have still some place to work on our squad 3/4 place free for over 21.

  49. From what I understood, 8 out of the 25 must have been registered in England or Wales for at least 3 seasons when these 8 players were between the ages of 16-21 and we can supplement the squad of 25 with unlimited under 21 year olds. Correct me if i’m wrong.

    If true, then we are all set for next season.

  50. i dont think aresenal will have a problem, I counted 10 home grown from the list above, Mannone, Fabianski and clichy are all homegrown. The rule that seems to be confusing a a lot of bloggers is the under 21 rule. To me it is quite simple, if a player is under 21 as of January in the year of that season then he doesnt have to be registerd, ie: if the season starts in August 2010 then if you are under 21 as of January 2010 then you dont need to register.
    I think a few of our youngsters will get loans to EPL teams as they will try to reach there quotas. A lot of of mid table teams have a lot of older foreign players on there books, the likes of Vela, Fabianski could find loan moves to EPL sides as thay are homegrown, this is good as they will get good experience and return to arsenal better players. Bear in mind that Liverpool only have 3 homegrown players in their first team.

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