Sky reveal exclusively Arsenal will sign at least six more first team players

According to Sky with its story, “Wenger steps up preparations” Arsenal are going to have to sell players to make space in the squad, because of the 25 player rule.

They say,

Meanwhile, Wenger has hinted that he may look to move a few players on this summer, with new Premier League regulations stipulating that top flight sides must work with 25-man squads, with eight of those players having to qualify as home-grown.

They then go on to say that Wenger said he would have to sell to fit everyone in.

Untold Arsenal has been reporting on the 25 rule and analysing the situation month by month – and of course I am sure that a news organisation as eminent and trustworthy as Sky with all its billions of Murdochian money behind it, it knows what it is talking about.

The official detail from the league on the 25 rule  is here and there is a simple run down of exactly how it all works at the end of this article including what “home grown” means and how overseas players can be “home grown” at the same time.

So to look forward to the six new players, here’s the list, and here’s why we know it has to be six…

Our current “25” squad….

1 Almunia

2 Fabianski

3 Mannone  (Home Grown Player No 1)

4 Sagna

5 Eboue

6 Vermaelen

7 Djourou  (Home Grown Player No 2)

8 Clichy  (Home Grown Player No 3)

9 Song  (Home Grown Player No 4)

10 Denilson  (Home Grown Player No 5)

11 Diaby

12 Fabregas  (Home Grown Player No 6)

13 Rosicky

14 Arshavin

15 Nasri

16 van Persie

17 Eduardo

18 Bendtner  (Home Grown Player No 7)

19  Chamakh

20. Koscielny

Places 21-25 are currently vacant for players over 21.  If all five places are filled one of these will have to be a home grown player.  If Campbell were to re-sign for us he would count as the Home Grown player we need.

Now you may be wondering what has happened to Theo, Traore, Gibbs, Jack W, and the rest.  The fact is they don’t count in the 25 because they are all under age.

I’ll come back to the kiddies in a moment, but the key thing is that Wenger has five spaces available for players over 21, only one of whom has to be “home grown”.   So clearly he is going to fill those five places first.  Which means if we have to sell a player to make room, that means we must be buying at least six players over 21 years old!


The only other explanation for Sky’s story is that we might be holding onto Simpson who is home grown but is now over 21.   Let’s say that’s the case and that we sign Campbell again, they could be numbers 21 and 22.   That leaves three spaces – and that would mean we could sign three more and be in the rules – anything after that and we need to sell one of the 25.

So even with Campbell signing and Simpson staying, if we have to sell one player as Sky says then we will be buying four.   Four new players plus Campbell and Simpson.


There is a further explanation – but it really is a bit too silly to contemplate.  It could just be that Sky are such a bunch of debilitated drongos that they don’t actually know about or understand the “25” rule and so don’t realise that we have loads of room free on our list.

But no, this is a serious national broadcaster who has the rights to most EPL games.  The EPL wouldn’t sell their rights to a firm that doesn’t even know the rules.

Would it?

Anyway, back on planet Earth, the under 21 year olds who don’t count in the “25” are below. No limit on numbers who can be on this list and I think many of us expect a few additions.  But here’s the list we had based on last season (they have to be under 21 on 1 Jan 2010).  The Home Grown issue is not relevant on this list, but I have included it as a guide to what happens when they are 21.

1  Szczcesny 19 Home Grown
2  Gibbs 20 Home Grown
3  Traore 20 Home Grown
4  Eastmond 19 Home Grown
5  Ramsey 19 Home Grown
6  Wilshere 18 Home Grown
7  Walcott 20 Home Grown
8  Vela 20

Now we might care to add, at least,

  1. Frimpong
  2. Emmanuel Thomas
  3. Lansbury
  4. Wellington Silva after January

The rules

Squad registration list must be submitted at the end of the transfer window:  31 August 2010, and then again on 31 January 2011.

Squad size limit – Maximum 25 players over 21 years. No limit for under-21 players.

Age definition – 1 January of the season’s starting year. 1 January 2010 for the 2010/11 season.

Home-grown quota – 8 of the 25 squad places can only be filled with home-grown players.  Thus, only 17 foreign-grown players (over 21 years) are allowed.

Home-grown (1) age – All club registrations before the age of 21 (at the end of the season).

Home-grown (2) home – All clubs registered with the English or Welsh FA.

Home-grown (3) length – Minimum period of 3 seasons or 36 months (continuous or not).


You might also enjoy…

Who is lying and why – the Cesc interview and the full translation.

The day the Youth Project was shown to be a magnificent success of the very first order

Arsenal 100 years ago – the Woolwich Arsenal web site

Making the Arsenal: if you are not taking this book to the beach questions will be asked

41 Replies to “Sky reveal exclusively Arsenal will sign at least six more first team players”

  1. Now surely Sky can’t be wrong… can they?
    Or could it be that the man charged with the “invent a daily Arsenal article” really is a bit ….fill in as you like.

    I actually wonder if Sky rewrites it’s own stories if they turn out completely foolish. I think not as in Arsenal’s case they would have to rewrite almost everything.

  2. Colud you please try and obtain clarification on the Vela case. To my understanding, he was only 16 when we signed him. As an Arsenal player but developed in Spain (by ARSENAL), doesn’t he qualify as “home grown”?

  3. Why do would any of those zombies from NewsCorp need to ‘know the rules’, when they can just make them up?

    “He had to go through cartilage, but, he won the ball! It’s a mans game, you see. That’s why he came in from an opponents blind side, whilst they were playing football…”

    “He was too quick for him!”

    “That dive by Pederson at TNHOF was hilarious.”

    “Eduardo clearly dived, er, didn’t he. he must of. If I repeat something enough, will it come true? My fairy godmother, Leni Riefenstahl said so, and she was never wrong.
    It was a dive! Dive! Dive!”

    Of course listening to the above should come with a suitable warning: you may get a sense of vertigo.

  4. And the great thing is that the 10 players you mention who are U21 are all home grown except Vela and Wellington. So we still have a few left in a few years to fill possible gaps. In 3 years time we could have some 17 home grown and 8 not home grown players left.
    Never mind what they come up with, Wenger and Arsenal will have it ready when needed

  5. I have read so many articles on the new ’25 rule’ but I am afraid so many of them are conflicting and/or confusing that I still do not fully understand it.

    Maybe it is just me but it sort of goes in one ear and then straight out of the other, or rather since I am reading it I guess it has to go in my eyes and out of my…nose?

    Anyway, another good article Tony and I think with your last paragraph I may have got it sorted at last – We’re aloud 25 players over 21, no more than 3 of which must be elephants, right?


  7. I think that someone has misunderstood Wengers quote after Barnet that ‘we will be joined by six additional players in Austria’. They are already ours – they just played in the early stages of the World Cup.

  8. Something that I can’t get my head around.

    Do we have to name 8 homegrown players over the age of 21 in our squad even if we don’t have 25 players?

    Your list has 20 players with 7 homegrown. Does this mean that we MUST put another homegrown player in the squad (be it Campbell, Simpson or someone else)?

  9. Isn’t the rules so unclear? The rules state that the maximum limit for squad is 25 for players above the age of 21. Which means we can have any number of players within 25. Infact its not necessary to have even one single player who is above 21.

    The rules state that there should be 8 home grown players. But it didn’t specify the age for them. Which means we can hav 8 home grown players below 21 as well as long as they have completed 3 years of training in england between the age of 16 and 21. i.e we can include walcot, gibbs n vela in our home grown list.

    The rules state that there shouldn’t be more than 17 players who are above 21yrs old and not home grown. Well we are well within that number.

    So i still think we are good enough to start the season without any additions.

  10. My understanding is that 8 of the 25 players need to be home grown. Although it does not seem to say it in the rules, the implication is that if you only nominate 24 players you only have to have 7 homegrown.

    The fact is for Arsenal we have no problem with any of this – which was the point of my rather sarcastic article. Not only have we got a load of spaces left at the moment, we have already met 7 out of 8 of our homegrown quota.

    And if we really do have to nominate 8 players even if we don’t fill all 25 slots, no problem – we can nominate one of the kids who played last season – because all of them apart from Vela qualify as home grown. So we just move Ramsey across into the adult section and name him as our 8th home grown. (Although as I noted, both Campbell and Simpson qualfy as home grown too).

    In my view, Wenger has known exactly what he is doing here – and indeed if you look at the group of new players that we are thinking will move into the first team squad – people like Frimpong – they too will qualify as home grown.

  11. But we do not have to max the 25 players squad rule do we? Which means for the 25man squad we will be 20/25 and the remaining squad will be made up of those who are under 21 years old.

  12. I just told everyone at work about the squad of 25 (they hadn’t heard about it). I then read out the list of homegrown players – they sat there open-mouthed!

    It’s quite funny that the Premier League are doing this to increase the number of English & Welsh players and Arsenal have come up with 7 foreigners. 😀

    I’ve just read the Premier League definition again. If this bit is right:

    “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”

    then you can have a squad of just 17 players who are over 21 and foreign.

    The restriction is not the 8 home grown players but the 17 foreign players.

  13. Sky never said anything about Wenger signing 6 new players! We dont need to worrry abt the rules and Vela is a homegrown player! Read the freakin rules before comin talkin abt stuff U dont kno! Its not a must that the the players have to be over 21 either! This article did not make freakin sense!

  14. Well Zane K since you clearly know all about it, why not give some evidence.

    You may be right that I have miscalculated Vela’s home-grownness, so why don’t you tell us his date of birth, and when he started to qualify as home grown, and then how he gets in his 3 years before the qualifying date and before becoming 21. If I am wrong I will of course apologise in a slightly more reasoned manner than you have adopted.

    And I don’t think I have said that the players have to be over 21. The fact is that the club can only have 25 players over 21 on the qualifying date – so if Arsenal really do have to sell players in order to buy new ones, as Sky suggested, then that can only be because they have run out of places in the 25 list.

  15. Tony- yeah i see your point. There is something in these rules that we dont know and Arsene Wenger knows. Thats why if Arsenal was in desperate need to fill in the last position of the home grown player, then Arsene Wenger would have already made the signing or atleast there would have been some english player linked to arsenal. But yet we haven’t seen that, which can only point to the theory that we can put anyone of our youngsters who has completed 3 years of training in england till now in the 8 home grown player list.

  16. It’s good to see an article that spells out the situation in such well presented terms – good work. I also think Arsenal will be absolutely fine, and going by the first list of 20, there are 13 players that are over 21 and not home grown, so AW could buy at least 4 more foreign players yet, without having to sell any to make room. (and if the rumours on Eduardo are true then make that 5 foreign players potentially). From previous articles and comments, I would say it is Chelsea and Liverpool who will struggle the most with this rule (although Liverpool have now got Joe Cole by all accounts, their lack of squad depth is a worry to them no doubt)

  17. My understanding of the “home-grown” rule is that Wellington Silva needs to spend three years in England (or Wales) before the age of 21 to qualify. Since he’s transferring in the January window once he turns 18, he’ll be in the “under 21” category until 2014, at which point he’ll be 21 AND “home grown”.

  18. i would like to ask one question, (nothing really to do with your article,sorry)but tony, can you find out if thier is one player, in the world,whos looking to leave thier club whos not been on arsenals so called wanted list,why is the media and especially sky sports so poor on getting stories right?
    it got be nearly a hundred players wengers been near to signing now,can you please explain

  19. @rusty

    but i think that’s only if he stays with us and isn’t sent out on loan for a year.

  20. hey tony!! thumbs up for the good work…m sure ur blog will one day top the rankings..
    I had a lil doubt on this home grown stuff..
    This is being done to improve the number and quality of english players and if all the foreign players would count in it then it makes no use for england to implement it..
    maybe the players that chose to play for their countries like clichy-france or is their some clause that disqualifies them from being home grown..

  21. so let me get this straight, (in theory) we could fill the remaining five places using ramsey (as our last home-grown) and any other 4 players. then we could have 15 more player (if we wanted) who are under 21 and have a squad of 40???? can someone please clarify wether that would be within the rules??

  22. Yes an EPL club can have as many under 21s as it wants on its books. It can have 100 if it wishes.

    The 25 rule is merely about restricting the squad size of over 21s, by saying two things

    First – there can only be 25 of them
    Second – eight of them must be home grown, under the curious home grown rules which allows Cesc to be home grown.

    The point of the rules is to stop Chelsea and Man City buying up 15 players a season all of whom are at their peak at say 27 years of age to bolster their squad, and to stop other clubs buying them as well.

    As a law it is only moderately important – but the advent of the Financial Doping rule which clubs will have to come to terms with in 2011/12 is going to have a much bigger impact.

    The point of the 25 rule in that context is that it is going to make it harder for clubs to buy up a team to push up the league in the first place.

  23. DemonDonkey: Algenon Fitzgibbon-Beater is wanted by Ulan Bator Gardners, and has never been wanted by Arsenal

  24. Yes Lee you are correct 🙂

    we could go out and buy 1000 under 21’s and they could all play next season and we will still have 5 players still to buy

    We could use ramsey as the 8th home grown and buy 4 other top quality any age and any nationality players

    Cheers Tony for clearing everything up, ive been thinking about this rule for weeks and how we would get all of our players in the squad but i never thought to just put it on paper, it all looks good for arsenal

    I would say with are in a much better position than any other premier league team. Wenger is the man, he’s been planning this for a loooong long time 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  25. Wait, if we have to have 8 home-growns above 21, then why is Simpson not a homegrown? Having him for another year should ensure that we don’t have to waste useless money on J.Cole or buy any other overpriced English player (although I’d probably not be averse to getting Rodwell on a free).

  26. simpson is (or can be) a homegrown player, but will wenger register him, i wouldnt have thought so

  27. He certainly will, even after registering him, Wenger will still have 4 places left. While I think we are a defender short at the moment, we certainly wont sign 4 players, so there’s plenty of room for over 21s.

  28. Your article is wrong.

    Players like Wilshire, Ramsey, Walcott, Gibbs and Eastmond can be included in the squad of 25 regardless of being under 21. They qualify as home grown having spent more than 36 months being trained in England.

    Wenger could include them in the 25 and satisfy the home grown quota. Added to the fact that more senior first teamers likes Fabregas, bendtner, Djoure, Clichy, Denilson and Song qualify, to add Ramsey and Walcott is all that’s required to satisfy this rule.

  29. Just quickly saying I highly doubt wenger will bring in players to fill those empty spots as he lives in the real world where he thinks about the future if he buys five more players this season he will then have to sell at least 5 players in 2 seasons time to make room for walcott, gibbs and the others. So to put it simply i am not going to get hopes up for new signings all i want to see at arsenal is to keep our current crop and invest in only the weak areas in our squad i.e goalkeeper. If you think about it our numbers are set for the next few seasons and the likes of man shitty will fall as sooner or later the home grown players that arent starting are going to leave, can’t wait till this happens

  30. Just quickly saying I highly doubt wenger will bring in players to fill those empty spots as he lives in the real world where he thinks about the future if he buys five more players this season he will then have to sell at least 5 players in 2 seasons time to make room for walcott, gibbs and the others. So to put it simply i am not going to get hopes up for new signings all i want to see at arsenal is to keep our current crop and invest in only the weak areas in our squad i.e goalkeeper. If you think about it our numbers are set for the next few seasons and the likes of man shitty will fall as sooner or later the home grown players that arent starting are going to leave, can’t wait till this happens.

  31. Jamo – my point is that yes they can be included, or they might be left in the Under 21 section. It really doesn’t matter at all.

    The whole article was a send up of Sky.


    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.

    So, from this:-
    1.25 players ( 8 home growm / 17 not home grown)
    2. 17 out of 25 (over 21)/ 8 out of 25 under 21
    3. After 1st January unlimited additional players under the age of 21

  33. What would happen if, say by the start of the season we have the same players over 21 would we still need an 8th home grown player or as we have under 25 would we be allowed less?

  34. I hate the stupid rule. It’s going to end up being a tax on the clubs that actually bother to produce talent since there will now be a forced purge every season of homegrown players above 21 who’re not good enough to displace players in the existing 25 man squad, even though they may be good enough to play for the club.

    That’s why I call it the Mark Randall tax. Randall will have to go next year. There will be no point keeping him around like you could when there wasn’t the 25 player limit.

    And because every club will know you have to sell him, the price you can get for him would be deflated.

  35. Breaking News::: Reoprts are coming into Ski HQ that Arsenal are on the verge of signing a highly rated international defensive midfield centeral winger for a record fee which could involve a player swap. Mongolia’s Algenon Fitzgibbon-Beatter was due to sign for the Ulan Bator Gardeners but in a dramatic twist tonight his agent’s cousin has indicated that a deal is immenent and the highly rated youngster could be at the Emirates by tomorrow. Ski news understand that Cesc Fabregas may well be heading in the opposite direction as he has been known to have strong links to Mongolian division 2 champions after watching a 10 part documentary about Ghengis Khan while sitting on the bench in South Africa.

    Barcelona’s Carles Pouyol immediately made called on Arsene Wenger to allow the Mongolian youngster to follow his dream and join him at the Camp Nou. More later…..or maybe not.

  36. There are no gardens in Inner Mongolia as Outer Mongolia blocks out almost all the sun available ,but being normadic ,their stadia [basically large tents ]shift to seek the greener grass on the other side.A famous Mongolian proverb goes somrthing like this -” make play when sun shine ” but it may have lost something in translation.
    Just like what a friend said to me the other day – he remarked that he did not fancy flying to Madrid as he had heard that “the rain in Spain mainly falls in the planes “.These thoughts keep me awake at night.

  37. Sorry folks, turned out that the new Fee FA rules have ruined Cesc’s dream of playing for the Gardeners. Something to do with the 25 player limit (not too many homegrown players at the Gardeners)and it boiled down to a straight choice between Cesc and Roo. Sir Alex has agreed terms and the Gardeners will unveil their new striker at a Ski News press conference later today (unless there’s some dramatic twist in the saga, in which case of course we’ll bring to you details as soon as we’ve thought them up).

    Tony, somebody, stop me please!!!!!!!!!!!!(trying to understand the Tottenham accounts has wrecked my head):)

  38. To answer Jimmy’s question.

    We don’t have to have 8 homegrown players in the squad.

    The only restriction is that we can have a maximum of 17 non-homegrown players.

    Therefore, Wenger could announce a squad of 24 players comprising 17 non-homegrown and 7 homegrown. Or he could announce a squad of 20 players comprising 17 non-homegrown and 3 homegrown.

    If he wanted to announce a full squad of 25 players THEN he needs to make sure there are 8 homegrown players.

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