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Is this the last season in which Arsenal will buy any player who is above 21yrs of age?

Is this the last season in which Arsenal will buy any player who is above 21yrs of age??

by Dark Prince

Now on the last day of the transfer window, lots of questions have arisen on how many more players Lord Arsène Wenger will be buying. But we have to remember that we have a new 25 limit squad rule from this season.

Yeah sure, many will rightly say that we have enough places to buy another 2-3 players. But are we missing something?? Lets check out…

Lets look at the new rule (yeah, we’ve gone through this many times but there’s still some points to be made…)

By 1 September every club will have to name a first-team squad of no more than 25, of which a maximum of 17 may not be homegrown players.

Well, I’m not going into the aspects of the number of ‘Homegrown’ players we have because I assure you that we have enough of them.

The complex part is what seems to be the simple part…  In addition to this squad of 25 players, each club may use as many under-21 players as they wish. The player must have been born on or after January 1, 1989 to be classed as ‘Under-21’ for this season.

Now we have lots of under-21s, dont we? And yeah, we don’t have to include them in the 25 man squad this season.  This is where we come to the bit quite a few people are overlooking…

Here’s our first team players along with their birth dates. The breakdown is as follows-

1) Manuel Almunia (May 19, 1977)
2) Abou Diaby (May 11, 1986)
3) Bacary Sagna (February 14, 1983)
4) Cesc Fabregas (May 4, 1987)
5) Thomas Vermaelen (November 14, 1985)
6) Laurent Koscielny (September 10, 1985)
7) Tomas Rosicky (October 4, 1980)
8) Samir Nasri (June 26, 1987)
9) Robin van Persie (August 6, 1983)
10) Carlos Vela (March 1, 1989)*
11) Theo Walcott (March 16, 1989)*
12) Denilson (February 16, 1988)
13) Aaron Ramsey (December 26, 1990)*
14) Alex Song (September 9, 1987)
15) Jack Wilshere (January 1, 1992)*
16) Johan Djourou (January 18, 1987)
17) Lukasz Fabianski (April 18, 1985)
18) Gael Clichy (July 26, 1985)
19) Andrey Arshavin (May 29, 1981)
20) Vito Mannone (March 2, 1988)
21) Emmanuel Eboue (June 4, 1983)
22) Kieran Gibbs (September 26, 1989)*
23) Marouane Chamakh (January 10, 1984)
24) Armand Traore (October 8, 1989)*
25) Nicklas Bendtner (January 16, 1988)
26) Wojciech Szczesny (April 18, 1990)*
27) Sebastien Squillaci (August 11, 1980)

* = Under-21 for season 2010/11

Well, we look very well settled for this season with this squad. Some (including me) may argue that we need a new goalkeeper. But keeping that aside, if we look at our squad, we’ve got 7 players who are under-21s and rest 20 players are 21 or above. So we do have 5 spots left to fill…or do we??

Now I can say that maybe apart from Cesc, everyone else will be a part of our team for the next season as well. So, If we look closely, we can see that four of our under-21s, namely, Vela, Walcott, Gibbs, Traore, will no longer be classified as under-21s from next season since for a player to be under-21 for next season, he has to be born on or after January 1, 1990.

This means, we’ll already have 24 players who are 21yrs of age or above next season. Which means, we wont have much room to manoeuvre next season, something which Lord Wenger must have anticipated already. Thus signing another player now is more undesirable. And we now know the reason why Lord Wenger isn’t happy with the new squad rules.

It is highly debatable whether Cesc would be staying with us next year.  Suppose he does leave, that would still leave us with only 2 places left next season. But does it mean we would still buy players next season???

I think probably no, and the reason being the same that we have so many youngsters who would be 21yrs by the following 2012-13 season. The likes of Ramsey, Szczesny, Eastmond, Lansbury, Nordtveit, JET, Barazite, will have to be included in the 25 man squad or else they’ll have to play for the reserves all year.

Most of us can again debate whether we can loan out some of these players, but surely not every one of them.  So by the time, we reach 2012-13 season (2 years in the future), our squad will be jam-packed because except for maybe Almunia and/or Cesc, everyone else present in our current team will be surely there after 2 years and we’ll have almost a dozen newly 21yr olds waiting to get added in the first team squad.

Now I have not even included many other players of our current/reserve/youth team because some of them will still be under-21s after 2yrs, namely Afobe, Wellington Silva, Watt, Sunu and Wilshere (can you believe it?) and some others I believe they might not make it, i.e they might be sold.

So how does this affect trading of Arsenal in next few years??

There is strong probability that Arsenal will mostly sell in the coming years. Well, then surely Arsenal will be called a ‘Selling’ club. That does not mean we wont buy at all. We will bring in lots of youngsters. All of them falling in the under 21 category so that we have a continuous flow of talent and quality players from the highly successful youth academy into the 1st team year after year.

I don’t think we would be in any need to buy any players above 21yrs of age after this season. We have future world class goalkeepers in Szczesny and Mannone. We have future world class strikers like Afobe and Wellington Silva. We have future world class midfielders like JET, Lansbury and Frimpong. Our future defense is also starting to look good with Nordtveit. So the question arises – Is this the last season in which Arsenal will buy any player who is above 21yrs of age??

I wont be surprised if it is.

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42 comments to Is this the last season in which Arsenal will buy any player who is above 21yrs of age?

  • bc

    You seem to forget that players dont always renew their contracts. Eboue, Sagna, Clichy, Fabianski, Almunia, Vela, Djourou, Traore, Mannone, Barazite, Randall, Hoyte, Bendtner, Rosicky, Denilson, are all players that may not renew their contracts next time up. I am not saying their contracts are up in the next 2 years but very possibly in the next 3 years. If we are to be a selling club as you state we will need to sell not give away and its very possible that many of these will want the guarantee of first team football or more importantly they might want to win trophies which could well not be available to them, if they stay with us. We might also finally decide that we can no longer depend on our injury proned players, Djourou, RVP and many more.

  • walter

    Dark Prince, I hadn’t thought of it like that and I think you could be right. But I think the 25 rule will be changed in the future.
    I can imagine some “light” pressure from some teams to get rid of it or make it a 30 squad rule or so.

  • JeromJ.

    Good question there, hopefully the 25 man rule will be taken off after the 1st season in effect. Just hopefully the FA will realize its not a good rule for one reason or another. Itll be tough when all our players grow up and if we dont have enough quality in a certain area, we might just not be able to do anything about it because of the possibility that we cant have new signings in the years to come. Its always good to have space to manouvre.

    Who knows, we might not need be bothered and all our current under 21s might become world class talents that are capable of winning us the champions league.. Its not impossible.

  • JeromJ.

    Agreeing with Walter, about the 30 men squad instead. I actually think that would do wonders for a club like us. Just that added 5 men

  • IvoryGoonz

    I will argue that we should send on loan every player reaching 21 for a year or two.

  • Richard B

    If your final conclusion is true for Arsenal it must be even more true for other clubs who are in a far weaker position than we are in terms of the size and age profile of their squads. And that will mean that the competition in the market for young players will become even more intense than it is now. In turn that puts greater and greater emphasis in a clubs ability to ‘grow its own’ so that it can keep out of that market, as much as possible, when buying and to exploit it, as much as possible, when selling.
    Now, which club appears to be in the strongest position in that respect?

  • munawwar

    we are in a very strong position. i think 7amkickoff.com has a similar article some time ago… its more problematic for wenger than just 4-5 players… in 2-3 years time almost 14-15 players from our squad will be above 21. and that will mean if the 25 remains then we might have to sell some older players or the just turned 21 will be sent out on loan.. so many players whom we like might be going in 2-3 years time. no longer would we be able to keep older players because of our amazing youth coming in.

    very tough decisions wenger will have to make. in terms of financial stability we will making the most profit ever. other clubs are going to go broke cause they have no youth like ours. they will have to sell older players. and get in fresh above 21 year old players in their prime costing them a lot of money. plus the other clubs will now have to start the youth project which we have been doing since ages!

  • Jonny

    The other issue is clubs like Liverpool, Man City and Utd who have waaaay to many players as it is. I wouldnot be suprised to see the rules relaxed a little from where they are.

    It’ll be interesting though because this will create a strange transfer market and perhaps the real winners will be some of the smaller clubs – after all if the bigger clubs need to offload a certain amount in order to comply, those players are unlikely to be able to go to another big club as they would be presumably doing the same – some players may have to face a gigantic climbdown in wages too.

    I don’t know if I agree with the changes but we are certainly comparatively well placed to cope. Also, might this result in slightly more balanced leagues across Europe? If it did that could only be a good thing for football.

  • blooper

    If we don’t get a new ‘keeper, this imminent (I hope!) look up in our defensive fortunes may well do Almunia a world of good… I still think we could/should do better, but this may be a new lease of life for him and he would do well to grab it, which would be to our immense benefit. Another point of note is how complementary the signings of the last couple of seasons, although seemingly insufficient or unnecessary initially, are actually having a collectively positive effect on some individual performances. Arshavin is a match winner – we know this… just wish he’d work more; I really like Nasri and I can see him blossom into a solid, fine player with more games, experience and confidence; Chamakh in the team is giving Arshavin and Walcott a lot of joy getting more advanced so far, and his unselfish, assiduous workrate is simply exquisite for any player let alone a forward; there is a better partnership between Walcott and Sagna (giving our right wing play another dimension of unpredictability, especially once Walcott starts running at fullbacks consistently for fun!); Sagna is also looking up and trying some (ever improving) crosses a bit more knowing that someone in the mould of Chamakh could get on the end of them; Vermaelen has obviously improved our defense and it looks like it will only get better with Koscielny and Squillaci in the fray… In hindsight, and having a better perspective of the bigger picture, Arsene hasn’t done too badly. I STILL can’t believe we endured that aerial bombardment on Saturday and held on for 40 minutes for the win! There’s definitely an improvement in our team and I think we should celebrate that. I’ll drink to good times ahead, certainly/hopefully in the very near future! I hope this makes people feel a little more optimistic about our beloved club. To be honest If we don’t get a new ‘keeper, this imminent (I hope!) look up in our defensive fortunes may well do Almunia a world of good… I still think we could/should do better, but this may be a new lease of life for him and he would do well to grab it, which would be to our immense benefit. Another point of note is how complementary the signings of the last couple of seasons, although seemingly insufficient or unnecessary initially, are actually having a collectively positive effect on some individual performances. Arshavin is a match winner – we know this… just wish he’d work more; I really like Nasri and I can see him blossom into a solid, fine player with more games, experience and confidence; Chamakh in the team is giving Arshavin and Walcott a lot of joy getting more advanced so far, and his unselfish, assiduous workrate is simply exquisite for any player let alone a forward; there is a better partnership between Walcott and Sagna (giving our right wing play another dimension of unpredictability, especially once Walcott starts running at fullbacks consistently for fun!); Sagna is also looking up and trying some (ever improving) crosses a bit more knowing that someone in the mould of Chamakh could get on the end of them; Vermaelen has obviously improved our defense and it looks like it will only get better with Koscielny and Squillaci in the fray… In hindsight, and having a better perspective of the bigger picture, Arsene hasn’t done too badly. I STILL can’t believe we endured that aerial bombardment on Saturday and held on for 40 minutes for the win! There’s definitely an improvement in our team and I think we should celebrate that. I’ll drink to good times ahead, certainly/hopefully in the very near future! I hope this makes people feel a little more optimistic about our beloved club. Thanks for readin

  • critic

    gr8 point but i have to laugh on one thing : “Our future defense is also starting to look good with Nordtveit.” lolz…how can defense starts to look good with just 1 youth player????we produce so much talented midfielders and forwards but why can’t we produce our own brand of defenders?????why???

    P.S – i am not saying nordveit is not a good player but no. of examples that u gave for future defense in comparison to future midfield and forwards is laughable.

  • critic

    putting a cap on wages to turnover ratio will be a good idea for financial stability rather than putting cap on squad members…

  • Armin

    Well if you look at long term, if we say acceptable service time is till 32 for defender, we may say that for next 7 years we have superb Vermaelen, more than solid Koscienlny, for 9 years we have Djurou whom I expect to turn it to great CB. And adding to it Nordveit who have at last 10-11 years I guess thats what Dark Prince was trying to pint here. In addition there are Clichy and Sagnia who have about 5-6 years more, but don’t forget Gibbs who is future of our defense. So, again looking at long term, we may only need (in next 3-4 years) to sign acceptable replacement for Sagna, (if Nordveit is decided to be CB), or another CB if Nordveit is transfered in to FBs.
    And all of this without counting on young guns.

  • AndyY

    The thing to consider is every other team will also be subjected to the same 25 rule. And teams like Arsenal who have a good youth development program will benefit.
    Also by 21, the manager could probably tell if a youth can make it as a player.

  • sam

    There is always natural wastage in any squad. Van Persie is 27 and if he does not have an injury free season ,don’t be surprised if Wenger sell him next year and get £25m for him. Fab will certainly leave us in 1, 2 or 3 years. New defender that we bought is already 30y old. This alone creates three vacancies. And Wenger only ever likes to buy no more than 1 or 2 players each year. Also not all the players from our youth system will make it to the first team. So I think we will be fine. This means that only the exceptional and very best out of our youth system will make it to the squad, much like Barcelona. This will inspire them to work harder and become even better players. If this happen, this will be a great bonus for us.

  • Sam

    Well we could free up some space by only including 2 or 3 goalkeepers in the squad – The fa showed last season with Man city that they’ll bend the rules where keepers are concerned, and my money says they’ll do it again.

    I think it would make a huge difference if the young player cut off was 23. Lots of players are still touch and go at the age of 21 so an extra 2 years would make sure promising young players aren’t getting thrown out because they’re not quite good enough yet.

  • Wembley79

    I am confused. I was under the impression that it didn’t matter about over 21s IF THEY ARE HOME GROWN (i.e. they have spent 3 years prior to their 21st birthday with a team in the English or Welsh football associations). If this is the case, we should definitely celebrate Wengers foresight in having so many “home grown” players. This will allow us plenty of room to move within the transfer market if we wish.

    But then, I could be wrong :S

  • Flint McCullough

    Right now the new rules suit us down to the ground but the problems start when the under 21s have to be part of the 25 or moved on, probably prematurely on loan or permanently. Under 23 makes much more sense in this very ill thought out plan that has little chance of achieving its goal of producing players for England.

    I can see long term loans 2-3 seasons becoming the norm & a call for strong inter club link ups say Arsenal/Barnet or Spuds/Orient to make some of the smaller clubs a development resource for the giants.

    If that happens or not the result of this is going to be a large number of lower league players losing their jobs. Quite sad really. Our FA never ceases to amaze me.

  • Flint McCullough

    Sorry got carried away there without acknowledging your thoughtful & interesting article, Dark Prince.

    I cannot actually see many clubs having the resources to gamble on 18-19 year olds, who may or may not make it. At 20 or 21 you only get a seasons benefit in any case. There will be obvious exceptions that Chelsea or Man Arab will snatch up but not many of them are likely to be English nor would they get many games.

    It’s a nonsense.

  • Critic = the future of our defence looks good.

    Here’s the full answer…

    Cruise, Nordveit, Bothelo, Miquel, Bartley, Eastmond,plus six others in the reserve squad who I haven’t managed to see yet.

    And that leaves Coquelin as a midfielder, along with Henderson, Lansbury, Watt, Aneke and Frimpong. Plus JET who could be anywhere, and is virtually in the first team squad now.

  • I agree that the 25 rule might go – but the reason will be legal action from players signed by a club but not in the 25.

    If a player is signed on a standard contract of £xxxxx a week, plus a bonus for playing or winning, and then is excluded from the squad, that could be actionable as a breach of contract. While contract law in the UK does not insist that the employer gives the employee work, if the lack of work affects the employee’s ability to earn, then that can be something that the club has to act upon.

    In other words a player who is not playing might claim his salary is being artificially reduced by not being in the 25.

    Further, it is possible to claim that a lack of first team action is damaging to the player’s long term career. There was a case, I believe, involving airline pilots – if they don’t get enough flying hours their “value” goes down, and so does their earning potential. Same with players.

    So I suspect Man City in particular will have a number of claims from players, and that will cause pressure on the abolition of the 25 rule.

  • kiwigooner

    I think the pressure will really be on the over 21’s who are looking for a move to another EPL club. This will restrict movements of players within the EPL and if the mooted loan ban comes into play, without allowing larger clubs to have a second ‘sponsored’ team in the lower leagues. This will shorten the career of footballers dramatically as year by year the new blood will force out the older because of the strict numerical cap. Whereas previously all could be accommodated.
    I wonder if they have really thought this through?
    Thank God for sell on percentages ….lol

  • Arsene Apprentice

    Dark Prince,

    Good write up. Hopefully by then it will be another season with another five trophies. As far as the current squad goes I think attrition will take place in one form or another and the answers will fall into place. Or, more likely Arsenal have been good thus far dealing with imposed threats and imposed problems. Arsene always pulls the fire alarm at the right time and then builds a plan and executes it to a tee. It wasn’t that long ago that Chelsea imposed a synthetic financial threat and we took a stance. And, I recall a certain manager who forecast a coming economic disaster for football teams. And, Arsenal not only avoided it but have built a new stadium, along with a great title challenging team. So I think you have good intutition to be concerned about this future problem. But, you are not alone. AW is on the case already… Only time will tell what is done about that.

  • Speaking of loans, Traore has just gone on loan to Juventus

  • kiwigooner

    Article 15 Terminating a contract with sporting just cause

    An established professional who has, in the course of the season, appeared in fewer than ten per cent of the official matches in which his club has been involved may terminate his contract prematurely on the ground of sporting just cause. Due consideration shall be given to the player’s circumstances in the appraisal of such cases. The existence of a sporting just cause shall be established on a case-by-case basis. In such a case, sporting sanctions shall not be imposed, though compensation may be payable. A professional may only terminate his contract on this basis in the 15 days following the last official match of the season of the club with which he is registered.

    The article is very explicit and unambiguous the player

    may terminate his contract prematurely on the ground of sporting just cause

    Article 17 Consequences of terminating a contract without just cause

    In all cases, the party in breach shall pay compensation. Subject to the provisions of article 20 and Annexe 4 in relation to training compensation, and unless otherwise provided for in the contract, compensation for the breach shall be calculated with due consideration for the law of the country concerned, the specificity of sport, and any other objective criteria. These criteria shall include, in particular, the remuneration and other benefits due to the player under the existing contract and/or the new contract, the time remaining on the existing contract up to a maximum of five years, the fees and expenses paid or incurred by the former club (amortised over the term of the contract)

    Pinched from FTK blog….. but backs up your point exactly Tony…. interesting times ahead.

  • FinnGooner

    Kiwigooner that was what Wenger point out few weeks ago
    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-a-rule-could-spark-court-cases
    That is something interesting…

  • Bdgooner

    i agree with the author. buying youngstars might become our only strategy in the next years. and looks like it’s already started-Miyaichi is being offered a contract and a professional one at that.
    http://younggunsblog.co.uk/2010/08/arsenal-make-contract-offer-to-miyaichi

  • Dark Prince

    Thankyou all 🙂 and thank you Tony for this opportunity.

    @bc- i dont think all of the players mentioned will avoid signing new contracts bcoz i dont think most of those players will miss an opportunity to play at highest level of football. Maybe you can expect some to leave but not surely all of them.

    @Walter- If the 30 man squad rule is brought in then its a good news for all the clubs. But i hope it comes later on after 5-6 years bcoz, our team looks perfectly fit in the present 25 man rule. But other teams are facing problems, so i’d rather stay with this rule for now.

    @IvoryGoonz- Sending players on loan should not depend on age but rather it should be on the stage of the player’s progress. If a player is progressing fast, u can expect him to get loaned at an early age so that he can taste the action as soon as possible.

  • eirik

    I hope that in 8 years time Fabregas is still here and he becomes the experienced loyal man in the squad like giggs and scholes. That would be fantastic.

  • Dark Prince

    @Richard B- you are right that there will be a huge competition on youth but Arsenal will stand the best chance in bringing these youth in because of 3 major reasons-
    1. Wenger is definately the best Manager to bring out the best in a youngster
    2. We have a world class youth academy unlike other clubs
    3. Even at a very young age, we provide youngsters the opportunity to play in champions league and top level EPL matches.

    @munawwar- we may lose some of our present players but we’ll hav a continuous flow of talent from the youth.

    @jonny- best example is man city…maybe its a message from the people who made the rule that teams cant just stock piling players. And some of the weaker teams shud benefit from this bcoz this will bring more competitiveness in the EPL.

  • Dark Prince

    @blooper- agree wit you. Thanks for commenting 🙂

    @critic- there are many youth defenders who are still developing. Atleast we can be patient for them to progress. And till that time, we’ll hav Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou to provide us with a solid defence.

    @armin- agree with you too!!

    @AndyY- agree with you 3!! 🙂

  • Dark Prince

    @sam- if suppose Wenger does sell Van Persie, we’ll hav many options for strikers. Also Jan 2011- Wellington Silva comin in!! But in case of Fab we’ll hav to show confidence in your other young midfielders. Wilshere, Lansbury and others will have to step up. And regarding our 30yr old defender, he’ll play for us atleast 3 years, till that time, we will have some good youth defenders comin in the 1st team.

    @Sam- i think 22 should be the cut off.

    @Wembley79- i doubt we’ll have enough room to navigate in transfer periods bcoz home grown players above 21yrs have to be included in the 25 man squad.

    @Flint McCullough- completely agree with you regarding players of the lower league and inter club tie ups…but this will make football more competitive and we’ll see quality football even in the lower leagues.

  • Paul C.

    I think there will always be space kept open for 1 or even 2 “big money” (whatever “big money” means to whoever is the manager at the time) signings, but I totally agree that the days of buying in a squad are well and truly over. This goes back to the question of “how big should a squad be?” Do you need 4 central defenders, or 5? 3 experienced and a couple fo youngsters? How many goalkeepers?

    I can see this squad ruling changing quite a bit in the years ahead. We know what they are trying to do, but capping a squad at 25 isnt perhaps the best way to do it. If you are trying to encourage local talent then the best way is to limit foreign talent, but of course that contravenes EU employment law. Ultimately a team should be able to have a squad of 850 if they are all home grown and want to stay at the club. This squad ruling would mean a club would have to sell 825 home-grown players against their will, even if they could afford to pay them all and they were happy to sit on the bench. That isnt exactly very “free market” is it?

    What do people think are better ways? Walter has suggested upping the limit to 30. What else can you do that doesnt contravene EU laws?

  • Dark Prince

    @Tony- the 25 man squad rule had been announced a year ago. I think the respective club should claim responsibility on their inability to allow a player in the 25 man squad. City knew about this rule and had 3 months of transfer window to deal with it. Hence, City should pay for the damages for player’s career.

  • Dark Prince

    @Kiwigooner- I hope such rules are spread across all european leagues, bcoz then transfers would be more subtle affairs. And thanks for the Legal Articles.

    @Arsene Apprentice- thanx 🙂 Wenger always seems to be thinking a few steps ahead of the others.

    @bdgooner- thats good news for both Arsenal and Miyaichi 🙂

    @eirik- I hope Fabregas stays and plays with us for another 12 years.

  • gooner80

    Have I got this wrong?

    a player is considered home grown if they were with the club for 3 years before their 21st birthday?

    But say for instance we bought a 20 year old from say france as soon as they are considered over 21 since they are not classed as home grown and say we had our quota are they ineligible to play?

    This would mean getting rid of good talent because they turn over 21? surely we would only be signing 18 year olds?

  • Adam

    Here is an extreme veiw to get all clubs to play more youngsters. Shorten the season to 7or8 months september to the end of March/April. more games in a shorter period of time will force all clubs to rotate their entire personel, It will force managers to mix up their squads, experience and youngsters in the same starting line up.
    Dark Prince i do entirely agree with your article I`ve stated before that Wenger has some tough decisions ahead of him, and it is some thing that alot of people have over looked. It does seem to me that the cut-off point for proving youself with a top flight club is now 21. I peronally don`t think the 25 man rule will change the prem that much. only will come into play if a club is hit hard with injuries (dont have to look to far eh). However if all clubs played every 2/3 days they would have no choice but to delve deep within ther resources.

  • Dark Prince

    @Paul C- the rule doesn’t state that you have to sell the extra players, so if a club has 850 home grown players, then its not necessary that they have to sell 825 of them. The rule only means that only 25 out of them can play. The rest 825 can play in fa cup/carling cup/champions league (i think). But yes, a 30 man squad rule looks more appropriate. Also putting a limit on number of player turnover, i.e the number of players leaving and comin in should be put to a limit.

    @Gonner80- the extra player is ineligible to play in EPL but he can play in fa cup, carling cup or european games. So its not exactly a waste of talent.

  • Paul C.

    DP – Absolutely, but not being on the 25 man list is akin to being told that you have to sell. The issue remains, that a player produced by the club, and considered home-grown in every way, could be told that he could not play due to squad size restrictions. Some would say that is good, and would spread talent around the League. After all, American sports have always have squad restrictions (25 in baseball, 14 in Basketball, 50 in Football etc etc) and it works fine. But those squad restrictions have no caveats about home-grown or foreign, or players under 21 or anything like that. I would much rather they just said “you have a 25 man squad restriction for League play” than start with all the foreign/home grown stuff.

  • Dark Prince

    @Adam- i’m good with the idea of 2 matches per week but not convinced with shortening the season to 7/8 months. Instead we can bring up a new tournament like the one Wenger suggested few years ago- European Super League. This will make more matches and gives more opportunity for younger players or bench players to play more often.

  • Dark Prince

    @Paul C- I agree. The home grown rule and under 21yrs stipulation does make it more complicated. A simple squad limit rule is better. But in that case a 25 man squad would be small. A 30 man squad would look more realistic. But i doubt a simple rule would be followed bcoz the FA want young england players to gain from the home grown rule and they cant specifically say it so they just brought in the 21yr old number into the mix.

  • gooner80

    they should make it under 25instead of 21 that would befair as players dont come into their prime till 28and it would encourage academies to develop youth more because once they hit 21 at present if there is no space for them they get loaned out. the rich clubs could end up loaning out 100s of players

  • Dark Prince

    @gooner80- everyone will have a different opinion on this. I’ll say the prime part of a player’s career starts at 23.