By Tony Attwood
One of the criticisms Untold has repeatedly made of the TTT (transfer tittle tattle) that is so beloved by the newspaper websites and their bloggetta coat-tail hangers on, is that none of the rumours take any account of a simple known fact – how much space each club has in its 25 man squad.
By the start of last September we knew the situation within each club and I think alone among the commentators published a list of exactly where each club stood. To reiterate the simple facts, each club is only allowed at the moment to have 17 overseas players aged over 21, and can make up the total of 25 registered players by incorporating a further eight homegrown players.
Homegrown players relate to where the players was registered in his early years, not to his nationality. Thus Francis Coquelin who has just left is French, but also registered as homegrown. These regulations are likely to change considerably once the UK leaves the EU, although no details have been put forward as yet, save the fact that EU citizens living in the UK already will be allowed to stay.
Here is where things stood for some of the teams we concerned ourselves with on 1 September 2017. The final column (“Next Buy”) shows what the club has to do or could do as the next transfer move. Thus as we published, Arsenal’s next move had to be to release one of their 25 players before they registered anyone else because Arsenal had 25 registered players aged over 21 on the qualifying date.
And this is exactly what the club has done by selling Francis Coquelin.
|Club||Squad total (max 25)||Overseas (max 17)||Homegrown players||Next buy|
|Manchester City||18||14||4||No restriction|
|Manchester United||25||15||10||Release anyone|
What made these figures interesting was how several of the clubs in the list did not have their full compliment of 25 players. These clubs have a benefit – they have more flexibility now – and a disadvantage – a sudden run of injuries could quite seriously affect them.
Clubs with the full compliment of eight or more home grown players have, of course, the need to sell a player before they can recruit, and those with a full compliment of overseas players have a particular difficulty in that all they can recruit are the comparatively rare home grown players.
This is what has happened so far in terms of this transfer window: which isn’t very much. Mavropanos does not affect Arsenal’s position in relation to its 25 because he is under 21. However Coquelin does, because he was listed in the 25 as a home grown player. His departure means Arsenal now have one space, and the fact that Arsenal had exceeded the minimum homegrown requirement means that they are still free to bring in anyone they wish.
|Club||Players in||Home||Players out||Home||Next|
|Liverpool||Virgil van Dijk||No||Philippe Coutinho||No||Release anyone|
|Man C||No restriction|
|Man U||Release anyone|
Three of our featured teams have had no relevant activity thus far. Here’s what each club can or must do next in terms of players who are not classified for this season as under 21.
Arsenal can buy one player without concern to nationality.
Chelsea, despite having brought in one home grown still can’t trade in the European market without selling someone – if they want to keep their squad, all they can do is buy home grown.
Liverpool need to remove one player from their 25 squad before buying a new player, but then are free to buy any nationality.
Man City can bring in up to three players of any nationality.
Man U need to release a player before they can bring in a new one.
Tottenham can bring in one player of any nationality, before they face restrictions and can only bring in home grown players.
In terms of Arsenal’s list of 25 registered players the ones who look most likely to move to make way for new recruits are
Akpom, Chuba: home grown but so far has been unable to break back into the team since his injury.
Debuchy, Mathieu: constant talk of him leaving last summer.
Iliev, Deyan: we have four keepers registered in the list, as opposed to the normal three, with one under 21 keeper as the final backup. However he is considered to be very talented, and so is probably unlikely to go, just in case of two keeper injuries at once.
Ozil, Mesut: you’ll know all the talk of him leaving.
Sanchez, Alexis: same as Ozil.
Walcott, Theo James: home grown but having slipped down the pecking order.
So we have a place, and the bloggettas as always have a looooooooong list of all the players we are just on the edge of signing (without any thought that we can only buy one without selling another).
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