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February 2021

Arsenal 25 Man Senior Squad – Update. A hint of more to come but with one in, two out.

by Andrew Crawshaw

Arsene made a rather cryptic quote regarding squad numbers in his press conference before the Watford match :-

“We already have a big squad, and we are already short on the numbers now. We have a requested number, and we can’t have any more players anyway”

Given the Imminent/Actual arrival of Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Pérez where does that leave our senior 25 man squad?

By my count, I think we currently have 26 players who are over the age of 21 as at Jan 01 2016.

Firstly we have 10 players who count as ‘Home Grown’

Player International Registration Squad No Position DOB
Kieran Gibbs England 3 LB 26 Sep 1989
Aaron Ramsey Wales 8 Mid 26 Dec 1990
Jack Wilshere England 10 Mid 1 Jan 1992
Theo Walcott England 14 Forward 16 Mar 1989
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain England 15 Mid 15 Aug 1993
Danny Welbeck England 23 Forward 26 Nov 1990
Carl Jenkinson England 25 RB 8 Feb 1992
Emiliano Martinez Argentina 26 GK 2 Sep 1992
Francis Coquelin France 34 DM 13 May 1991
Matt Macey England 49 GK 9 Sep 1994

Secondly we have 16 overseas players

Player International Registration Squad No Position DOB
Mathieu Debuchy France 2 RB 28 Jul 1985
Per Mertesacker Germany 4 CB 29 Sep 1984
Gabriel Brazil 5 CB 26 Nov 1990
Laurent Koscielny France 6 CB 10 Sep 1985
Alexis Sanchez Chile 7 Forward 19 Dec 1988
Mesut Özil Germany 11 Mid 15 Oct 1988
Olivier Giroud France 12 Forward 30 Sep 1986
David Ospina Colombia 13 GK 31 Aug 1988
Nacho Monreal Spain 18 LB 26 Feb 1986
Santi Cazorla Spain 19 Mid 13 Dec 1984
Yaya Sanogo France 22 Forward 27 Jan 1993
Granit Xhaka Switzerland 29 CM 27 Sep 1992
Petr Cech Czech Republic 33 GK 20 May 1982
Mohamed Elneny Egypt 35 Mid 11 Jul 1992
Shkodran Mustafi Germany   CB 17 Apr 1992
Lucas Pérez Spain   Forward 10 Sep 1988

We currently have three first team squad members who are confirmed to be away from the club on loan

Player Position On Loan to
Takuma Asano Forward Stuttgart
Joel Campbell Forward Sporting Lisbon
Wojciech Szczesny GK Roma

We also have a number of players under the age of 21 who are considered part of the first team squad – note that Bellerin, Gnabry and the two young CBs (Holding and Chambers) are all in this group.  (These of course don’t count towards the “25”).

Player International Registration Squad No Position DOB
Rob Holding England 16 CB 12 Sep 1995
Alex Iwobi Nigeria 17 Forward/MF 3 May 1996
Calum Chambers England 21 CB 20 Jan 1995
Hector Bellerin Spain 24 RB 19 Mar 1995
Serge Gnabry Germany 27 Forward 14 Jul 1995
Chuba Akpom England 32 Forward 9 Oct 1995
Jeff Reine-Adelaide France 54 Forward 17 Jan 1998

Finally, for completeness here is a list of the first team squad players who are currently injured

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Player Injury Expected back
Alex Iwobi Thigh October
Aaron Ramsey Hamstring October
Gabriel Ankle Mid October
Carl Jenkinson Knee Mid October
Danny Wellbeck Knee January
Per Mertesacker Knee January


  1. We now have 26 players vying for the 25 places in our senior squad.  One of them will have to make way.  This could be through a loan, transfer or possibly just leaving Wellbeck or Mertesacker off the list until it is updated at the end of the January transfer window.  However if we do that, the problem will simply re-emerge in January.
  2. Should Arsene spring any more surprises with further signings it will have to be on a ‘one in one out basis’.   Certainly, as we quoted Mr Wenger yesterday in his answer to whether the transfer turnover this summer will exceed £1bn, there was a hint that he might have something up his sleeve.   He said, “A billion? Higher than that. I don’t know the final level but I’m convinced there are many, many clubs in England who have a big amount of money available who have not spent yet. Many. You can say all of them. Who has finished the market? Nobody. You will see how many transfers will happen in the next three or four days. You’ll be amazed.”
  3. A loan spell for Calum Chambers won’t affect the situation as he is under 21 and hence is outside the 25 person rules.
  4. We have 10 players in the current over 21 list who count as ‘home grown’ comfortably above the minimum number of 8.
  5. With Carl Jenkinson still 6 weeks away from fitness, I’m not sure if Debuchy will get his wish of a loan or move before the start of the January window.
  6. We have a potential issue for next season as Bellerin, Gnabry, Chambers and Holding will all need places in the 25 man squad next year (assuming they all remain with the club).  However that shouldn’t concern us now.

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33 comments to Arsenal 25 Man Senior Squad – Update. A hint of more to come but with one in, two out.

  • sindy

    Hie Andrew. Considering that Debuchy has not been included in any of the match day squads to date, it is highly likely that he’s the one to leave. Let’s wait for midweek and see what Arsene has in mind.

  • kene

    What is Sanogo still doing there. He should be offloaded immediately.

  • Russ

    Excellent article

  • Gooner S

    Sanago and/or Debuchy can go out on loan or on a permanent deal if we want to bring more players in.

  • Leon

    The most obvious “room makers” are Sanogo who rarely gets a mention these days and is now further down the list with the arrival of Perez & Debuchy who will probably be third choice when Jenkinson returns.

  • HenryB

    Good Morning,

    On the face of it the Home Grown Rules, and the rules limiting the numbers of players in the first team squad to 25 seem straight forward.

    But with a minimum of 8 Home Grown players over the age of 21, meaning there can only be a maximum of 17 non-Home Grown players in the squad, together with any number of under 21 year old players available for selection it is actually fairly complex.

    There are also rules governing the calculation of when a player becomes 21 y.o. as of course not everyone is born on the same day.

    A very big spread sheet must be AW’s most pressing need before the commencement of each new season so he can keep tabs on who is or is not available and the cuts needed in the squad to comply with the numbers of each type of player.

    This also explains why there is such a huge cull of youth team players every year as they cannot all be absorbed into the squad as they near or reach the magical age limit of 21.
    Late developers simply have little or no chance of a career at a top professional club, which is the opposite of what was intended by the HGR when it was introduced.

    I loved your table of our players and their corresponding relevant dates of birth. Thank you.

  • Nonny

    Basically for me, a few players will eventually not be part of the squad as they seem not to be in Wenger’Wenger’s plans notably Sanogo who didn’t feature in the preseason. Also between Emiliano Martinez and Matt Macey, one of them will go out on loan. Probably Emiliano. I also think Chambers will not be part of the squad until at least Debuchy leave which will not be earlier than January. So there is still space for at least 1 signing

  • arse_or_brain

    As Matt Macey doesn’t count in the 25 it would make sence for him to be kept as the third choice keeper and for Martinez to go out on loan. As everybody has said, with Perez coming in, Sanogo does seem surplus to requirements and seems the obvious choice. Obviouly we are having difficulty selling Debuchy so a loan move would seem likely epecially as I feel Callum is getting better and Le coq can play there as well if needed.
    Like you say leaving Per out iss also an option, however I dont think any more business will be done ass far as incomings are concerned so really we are only looking for one solution which I believe will be actually two YaYa andd Emiliano. This will leave a tantalising space for a January signing.

  • colario

    As one who is good at not seeing my typos I suppose its natural I see the typos in others!

    Mohamed Elneny is 25 not 35.

    I am keeping this for future reference.

    Thanks Andy. Your piece will save many of us a lot of time when wanting to check on a player.

  • Xhaka'spassing


    My anxieties have been quashed. We’ve filled the gaps that had me worried. Now we have a full squad, with depth and injured players to come back as a boost at Christmas time

    Can’t wait to see Lucas play. Alexis type energy. They’ll be a handful.

    How good was Xhaka yesterday ?

    Bloody international break now, just as our players reaching fitness and we start to get into a rhythm they’re off to bloody international matches, some of which are friendlies. Disgusting. Just worry about injuries.

    Anyway we were more like our old selves first half yesterday. Ran out of steam 2nd half but game was won. We now have great options on the bench. Praise for Holding, Xhaka, Mesut and Alexis. Finally from someone who gives Theo grief I give him a thumbs up for yesterday

    Onwards !!!!!!

  • roger

    35 is Mohamed Elneny squad number not age

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    @Colario, I have Elneny’s squad number as 35, he was born in July 1992 so is 24.

  • Richard

    Colario 35 is elneny a squad number not his age the year of birth is after squad number. Andrew excellent work and I would expect a few movements probably out with sanogo going out then in January either Jenkinson and or debuchy to be loaned its old on. But we have done good business and are in a good position.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I haven’t a clue as to Sanogo’s whereabouts at the moment. He isn’t listed as injured but hasn’t featured at all in games this season and I haven’t spotted hom in any of the training pictures. At 6ft3 he stands considerably taller than most of our other players and tends to stand out in photos.

  • Josif

    Yaya Sanogo is also injured (that’s what Mr Wenger said recently) so he should be on the injury list as well.

    Both Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding, as far as I know, can also play as a right full-back which means Mathieu Debuchy’s departure shouldn’t hurt us at all.

    With possible departures of Martinez, Chambers, Debuchy and Sanogo, that would leave us with:

    Petr Čech, David Ospina, Matt Macey – goalkeepers;

    Hector Bellerin, Carl Jenkinson – right full-backs (with at least two make-shift right full-backs if necessary);

    Nacho Monreal, Kieran Gibbs – left full-backs;

    Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel de Abreu, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi – central defenders;

    Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka – defensive midfielders;

    Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey – central midfielders;

    Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry, Jeff Reine-Adelaide – right wingers;

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi – left wingers;

    Mesut Özil, Jack Wilshere – central attacking midfielders;

    Alexis Sánchez, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Chuba Akpom, Lucas Perez – strikers.

    That would be 29 players (23 + 6) which would leave two places open for new signings. I have my doubts that any will occur when it comes to Arsenal. I wouldn’t mind if Ospina persuades his brother-in-law to join Arsenal. James Rodriguez is an exceptional talent, can play as a winger or in No. 10 role and our over-reliance on Özil could become less of an issue with James in our squad. The problem is, it would be a pretty expensive transfer and we have already spent a lot of money on new players so my guess would be that there will be crowded on our exit door only in the following days with Sanogo, Debuchy, Chambers and Martinez likely to leave on loan, maybe even Akpom gets another loan spell to keep his preseason momentum.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I think the real issue with our 25 man squad will come next summer when we will need to make decisions over four of our U21s as they need to find places in the 25. Next summer is likely to be quiet in terms of new players coming in. Hopefully the “mega-striker” we all crave, but I suspect that will be about it although a left back would be a good idea

  • colario

    My apologies Andy ‘squad numbers’ not age. Sorry. I have no excuse for my careless reading. Sunday morning 🙁

    No that is not a good enough excuse 🙁

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Thanks for that comment on Sanogo’s being injured, I’ve just found a Wenger quote in the Metro (one of our least reliable papers – it is a free morning paper with different editions for rack of the major UK cities) dated 20 August confirming his injury. He isn’t included in the physio room data which I used as my source.

    “We have Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott, Akpom and Sanogo who is still here but is injured at the moment – the players we buy have to be better,’ he said”

    Read more:

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I do hate auto correct features on I-pads etc. I typed in “did decent editions for each of the the major UK cities (or at least that’s what I thought I typed). Lord only knows how the word rack appeared in the sentence

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    There are some reports that Arsenal still have a ‘Special Purchase’ pot of about £70m available should the right player come available. This is completely uncorroborated but makes for interesting speculation. Not enough fro Messi though.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Last post from me before I get on with the day.

    Arsenal Ladies are in action this afternoon with a WSL game against Notts County (a team who we have played in both cups and the league so far this year). We normally get a tough game but we are the better team and so have won all three games this year. Nothing less than three points will do after our loss last time out against Liverpool.

    Kick off is 17.00 and, as far as I can see there is no live coverage. You can always follow @ArsenalLadies on Twitter and follow along with the #ALFC hashtag

  • Olisa3buka

    Are we not forgetting someone?
    A certain Gedion Zelalem.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Let’s there be no over speculations in regard to who should be loaned out to cut down the size of our squad to the officially acceptable 25 man squad. For as of now, save if the Boss still want to bring-in another body into his squad, the no.1 item of Andrews’ Summary list of item 1 to 6 has already given Arsenal a strong protection which cannot be faulted in this summer by the FA as Mertesacker and possibly Welbeck are off the list. So for now, we shouldn’t be worrying ourselves on an issue that needs not to be worried on, until maybe when January registrations time comes.

  • Polo

    Look like AW confirm no more signings.

    When asked if there would be any other new arrivals before the transfer window closes on Wednesday evening, Wenger replied: “I don’t think so.

    “First of all we have a very big squad and we’ve spent a lot of money as well. We had to work very hard to get these two signings done.

    “I expected it to last until Tuesday but fortunately it unlocked very quickly on Friday. We don’t have any plans for anyone else now.”


  • Zelalem seems to have gone backwards of late, and in his last game was substituted after what was seen to be a rather poor performance. What is the matter, we don’t know, but something is.

  • Robert

    We only need to lose one player to meet the Squad of 25 requirements and Matt Macey is the obvious choice because we don’t need 4 goalkeepers. He could be loaned out or retained as part of the new U23 PL2 squad.

    If the size of the wage bill is a concern, any or all of the following could happen:

    Martinez may be loaned out – we managed fine last year with just Cech and Ospina.

    Debuchy could go now or in January – Jenkinson will be back for at least the second half of the season, and we didn’t have any specialised backup for Bellerín in the second half of last season.

    Sanogo is an obvious candidate for the exit door.

    Wenger has more than hinted that Chambers could go out on loan.

    If all the above happened, we’d have a squad of 23 O21 players and 6 U21 players – very similar in split and total to previous seasons.

  • Alex

    What wrong with Sanogo ? This guy may not look polished at a glance and yes and untidy first touch but he is a presence in the box .The like of Mourinho would love to face us with Walcot and for sure not Sanogo.
    How much time is been given by the way that everyone is writing him off?
    A full decade for the likes of Walcot is a given thing because is English ?
    All i see about this Walcot is just flashes here and there .He suppose to be sold or loaned not Sanogo.

    Get well Sanogo …and fight for your place.

  • BarryL

    Thank you Andrew for excellent insight into squad system and issues.

    With a number of our key players starting to hit full fitness and form (Alexis, Ozil, Cazorla, Xhaka, Kos, Cech), a revitalised Theo, a strong bench, 4 or 5 U21’s knocking on the door + 2 new signings, we have a really STRONG SQUAD

  • Robert

    “I think the real issue with our 25 man squad will come next summer when we will need to make decisions over four of our U21s as they need to find places in the 25.”

    You’re absolutely right, Andrew – although it’ll be 6 of our U21s, not 4. You missed Akpom and Toral. The cutoff will be 1 Jan 1996.

    If Macey, Martinez, Sanogo and Debuchy all go sometime this season, and if Szczesny and Campbell don’t return next season, we’ll have room for 3 Over-21 players.

    The only probable departure next season is Mertesacker – and he shouldn’t need replacing as we’ve brought Slimani in a year ahead of schedule.

    Still, all bets are off if we have a new manager next season.

  • setra

    It will be good if club homegrown can still be with arsenal until they are 23yo. Just like u-21 can be with the club excluded from registration. No afobe will be let go

  • Gord

    Half time with the Ladies taking on Notts County, 0-0.

  • Gord

    I don’t know if there is going to be a writeup on this game, but there is lots to talk about in the second half. There is about 15 minutes remaining, and Arsenal are leading. The number of outfield players on both teams is not 10.

  • Gord

    Congratulations Ladies on the win!

    Hopefully I have left the writers of any writeups with lots of material. 🙂