By Tony Attwood
Following Andrew’s review of the women’s team (see link at the foot of this article) I thought I would return to my contemplations of the men’s squad, and in doing so I have found that for some weeks I’ve been getting things wrong. So no surprise there. But then so has the Premier League (at least in part), so maybe it is one all in terms of mistakes.
Anyway, apologies from me, and now to try and get things right.
The issue arises over Arsenal’s list of 25 men’s players aged over 21. As you will know only 17 of these players can be “foreign” in the sense of non-home grown. I have been saying off and on in the build up to this window that we have our maximum number of such “foreign” players and therefore have to sell one non-home-grown (NHG) player if we buy one. But I have got that wrong; and here I will try and put things right.
Here is the list of non-home grown players in the 25.
- Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick
- Bramall, Cohen – but note he appears to be English and not “foreign”
- Cech, Petr
- Elneny, Mohamed Naser Elsayed
- Kolasinac, Sead
- Koscielny, Laurent
- Lacazette, Alexandre
- Leno, Bernd
- Lichtsteiner, Stephan
- Mkhitaryan, Henrikh
- Monreal, Ignacio
- Mustafi, Shkodran
- Ozil, Mesut
- Papastathopoulos, Sokratis
- Torreira, Lucas
- Xhaka, Granit
Now we are allowed 17 such players and thus quite clearly one more is allowable within the squad without any foreign players having to be sold. My mistake entirely, and so certainly not the first time I feel a total prat.
But I am made to feel slightly less of a prat by the fact that included in the list is Cohen Bramall, whose name makes him sound rather English. And as far as I can tell he was born in Crewe (which although I sometimes wish was not in England still is as far as I know), has not played overseas, and does not claim nationality from elsewhere via an aged relative. So if we take my mistake, Arsenal have one non-HG place available. If we take the error in the official records which makes Cohen a foreigner, we have two.
Now obviously it is still correct to say that Arsenal would need to drop players from the 25, because all 25 places have been taken – but at least for the next half season that is not a problem because of long term injuries. If we look at the list of home grown players we can see several who might be removed from the list for the second half of the season. I have marked the possible drops from the list with an asterisk…
- Bellerin, Hector
- *Holding, Robert Samuel – remove through injury
- Iliev, Deyan
- Iwobi, Alex
- *Jenkinson, Carl Daniel – remove as not being selected to play – could be loaned to try and get form back.
- Martinez, Damian Emiliano
- *Ramsey, Aaron James – remove as being transfered
- *Welbeck, Danny – remove as injured
Cohen Bramall really does puzzle me but I am going to stick my neck out as usual and say he is listed wrongly in the records which means we have 15 non-home grown players, and assuming none of them is sold or dropped completely that gives us two spaces in that department.
In the home grown list we have places available should we choose to remove any of the players for the reasons set out above, and we can include Cohen Bramall as a home grown player or drop him from the squad and loan him out.
And just to ensure that I am not making further errors here are our potential first teamers who are listed as under 21 and thus not included. (To be clear, they don’t come into the reckoning on their 21st birthday – if accounted as under 21 at the end of the summer window, they are under 21 all season).
John-Jules, Tyreece Romayo
Nelson, Reiss (on loan)
Pleguezuelo, Julio Jose
Smith Rowe, Emile
Willock, Joseph George
That is 12 players, one of whom is on loan. I am not sure too many Premier League clubs can claim that number.
The main players we are currently being tipped to buy are…
Denis Suarez, midfielder from Barcelona; talk of a loan.
Cengiz Under – winger from AS Roma for anything from €50m to £55m
Andreas Pereira – playmaker from Manchester United
Keylor Navas – Costa Rican goalkeeper from Real Madrid for £14m. Football London says “Navas in Ospina out that deal would make a lot of sense”.
Nicolas N’Koulou – defender from Torino, captain of Cameroon.
Ever Banega – midfielder from Sevilla with an £18million release clause, 30 years old.
Sami Khedira, German midfielder with Juventus offered in part exchange for Ramsey
Malcom. Brazilian Forward who joined Barcelona in the summer, but linked to Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe. A winger from Lille.
Ousmane. Another winger – he is with Barcelona.
Now of course I might have missed quite a few out – I’ve just picked up the ones occurring on the regular transfer centred sites yesterday evening and this morning. But what is noticeable is that the general tone of “what we need” articles is that what we need are defenders. Lots of them. Lots and lots of them.
But there is only one out and out defender noted above. Isn’t that a bit odd?
Oh and nothing here comes from the Daily Canon. They’ve blocked us (although kindly suggesting we update our browser – but that was done anyway a couple of days ago). We could ask for help, but as we’ve been a bit rude about some of their rumours before, we thought it might be pushing our luck a bit to plead to be let in again.
Anyway the story they are running is that Nic Bendtner has just started a prison sentence. You can look up the details elsewhere if you wish.
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