How Arsenal are handling this season’s “25 player” rule? We’re two short!

by Tony Attwood

Although some further transfers can be allowed during the rest of the time that other countries have their windows open (it is obviously sunnier where they are), the bulk of our transfer dealings have been done – perhaps all of them.

As ever the next step is to see where we stand on the 17 non-home grown players and the eight “home growns” who are over 21, that we are allowed to have on the books.

The rules are the same as before – the home growns have to be registered by an English or Welsh club prior to a certain age – but they don’t have to be English or Welsh.   Indeed being Scottish or Northern Irish in this regard is as much foreign as coming from Armenia.

History has shown two things.  One is that there are always quirks in the rules – the case of Cohen Bramall last season was a case in point.  He is as English as any Englishman and yet was not considered home grown because of a technicality in the date he was registered.  A perfect example of the weirdness of the rulings.

As such it is a bizarre and quirky manipulative system, which was set up to accommodate EU rules while trying to make clubs hire more English players.  And this in turn was set up in the belief that having more English players playing in the Premier League would help England win the world cup – despite the now well established evidence from other nations that having players play in other countries can often help far more.

Anyway the rule is the rule.  So let’s see what a hash I can make of the numbers so far given that at the time of writing I couldn’t find anyone else drawing up the list.

Pos. Name Age Classification
1 GK Bernd Leno 27 Foreign
2 DF Héctor Bellerín 24 Homegrown
3 DF Kieran Tierney 22 Foreign
4 MF Mohamed Elneny 27 Foreign
5 DF Sokratis  31 Foreign
7 MF Henrikh Mkhitaryan 30 Foreign
8 MF Dani Ceballos 23 Foreign
9 FW Alexandre Lacazette 28 Foreign
10 MF Mesut Özil 30 Foreign
11 MF Lucas Torreira 23 Foreign
14 FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 30 Foreign
15 MF Ainsley Maitland-Niles 21 Homegrown
16 DF Rob Holding 23 Homegrown
18 DF Nacho Monreal 33 Foreign
19 FW Nicolas Pépé 24 Foreign
20 DF Shkodran Mustafi 27 Foreign
21 DF Calum Chambers 24 Homegrown
23 DF David Luiz 32 Foreign
24 FW Reiss Nelson 19 Under 21
26 GK Emiliano Martínez 26 Home grown
27 DF Konstantinos Mavropanos 21 Foreign
28 MF Joe Willock 19 Under 21
29 MF Matteo Guendouzi 20 Under 21
31 DF Sead Kolašinac 26 Foreign
32 MF Emile Smith Rowe 19 Under 21
33 GK Matt Macey 24 Home grown
34 MF Granit Xhaka 26 Foreign
35 FW Gabriel Martinelli 18 Under 21

Foreign = 17

Home grown = 6

Total = 23,  thus two places available for “home grown” players over 21, unless we sell any of the foreign players listed above.  I suspect though that this is now our squad, but I would add that not having the full complement of 25 players is not unusual – a fair number of PL clubs are under the 25 limit each season.

Tierney is a puzzle for me, (although much of the world is a puzzle for me as you will know if you are a regular reader).  He was born on the Isle of Man, which although not part of England is, I think (like the Channel Islands) considered to be part of England for footballing purposes in terms of playing for the country.  But he has played for Scotland.   So is he English (home grown) or Scottish (alien)?  

Being designated English or Scottish is not a formal process in the UK, since those of us born anywhere in the UK are British citizens.   But for football, does this make Tierney home grown (Isle of Man) or an alien?

The rule is that the home grown player irrespective of their nationality or age, has to have been registered with a club affiliated to the FA or FAW for 36 months prior to his 21st birthday.  So on that basis Tierney is an alien, just as Bramall was when registering with us.   Crazy for sure.

One other point is that after the UK leaves the EU, we will be subject to different rules.  As I understand it, players (Fabregas was an example) can join a PL side from the age of 16 if they are living in another EU country (subject to some safeguarding arrangements concerning their parents.  But for the rest of the world the age limit is 18, so that thing that Mr Wenger used to do of bringing youngsters over aged 16 or 17 will then stop.   The Home Grown limit, however is an FA and English Leagues ruling, so that will stay the same.

As far as I understand it.

4 Replies to “How Arsenal are handling this season’s “25 player” rule? We’re two short!”

  1. seems the FA did themselves proud on this one Tony. While confusing themselves they have managed to take an entire nation with them. And the channel islands too.

  2. I commented on one my posts after Iwobi left that we might be short of HG players within the 25 but thinking back, I felt maybe Chambers will take his place but with the squad now, we’re short of players playing in 4 different competitions with our ill-luck with injuries at times. May it not come to bite us in the ass. (Pardon my choice of words)

  3. To me, I think the above 28 man Arsenal first team squad list that is comprising of 3 Arsenal academy school players of: Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, and Emile Smith-Rowe for the first half of this season’s campaign in the PL but fell shot by 2 home grown players for the first time in as in many recent past season should be okay for the first half of the current Premier League season’s campaign. Despite that Arsenal sold their only senior left winger – Iwobi, but did not bring in a new top quality left winger replacement in the mould of Everton Soares on a permanent deal or Philippe Coutihno on a season long loan to replace him in the just concluded last summer transfer window I would imagine. Which if they had done it would have seen both the right wing and left wing in the team strongly strengthened. For, only the right winger Nicholas Pepe was brought in to strengthen the right wing position this summer. But the left wing was typical left to it’s self strengthened with the sale of Iwobi who is being used there to play as a half bread is better than none.

    The play which us Gooners have watched in the last Arsenal PL match last Sunday away to Newcastle at left wing was a weak play by Reiss Nelson who mammed the left wing position for Arsenal in the match. But as Arsenal can’t do otherwise now but to be patient till the next January transfer window is opened before they could sign a top quality Left winger to do an upgrade to their LW. In the interim, Emery has appeared trying to proffer an internal solution to the lapse existing in the Arsenal left wing side in the team to see if it’ll work fine by experimenting with playing trio of Nelson. Martinelli and Saka to plate in the left wing in alternate week in the PL. After which the jurists will judge who is best suited among the trio who should a the regular basis be manning the left wing position for Arsenal within the shortest possible time. So as Emery has appeared looking to be making a frantic effort to address the existing weakness in the Arsenal left wing position by bringing in Nelson to play there first before bringing others to play them too to see after Iwobi is gone, let’s hope it won’t be to no avail. Although Nelson was reported to have played carefully to not commit any error in the game that could cost Arsenal a goal, it was generally observed he offered very little in the game going forward for Arsenal. The internal solution at solving the weakness currently existing in the Arsenal left wing position which Emery has resorted to adopting it by playing Nelson there last Sunday against Newcastle who is seen to better be played at right wing position as it’s his preferred position at which he can provide a 2nd cover for Pepe with Mkhi’ being the 1st. But hopefull, if one or two of the trio of Nelson, Martinelli and Saka become successful in manning the LW position correctly as required, it will of course no longer be necessary for Arsenal to sign a new top quality LW during the next January transfer window. But keep the internally developed left winger or left wingers who they’ve succeeded to developed and trained at the club who individual has become a top quality left winger for the club within in the shortest time. But if Arsenal are not successful in bringing one or two of the trio left wingers uo to the required top quality level during the 1st half of the season, Arsenal might be forced to sign a new senior top quality left winger to properly be manning the left side in the team during the next January window to stop the weakness at their LW position that has defied internal solution.

    Main while, the observers will continue to observe Nelson, Martinelli and Saka as Emery possibly play them to see if one or two of the trio being experimented with at the left wing in the team will grow to become a top quality left winger in the shortest time for Arsenal as they are being played in alternate in the PL. On this matter, the jurists were out enmass last Sunday on saying Saka has what it takes to be a better than Iwobi at the left wing for Arsenal. But I don’t know if apart of his being able to dribble well and crossing the ball well into the box, but does he have a powerful shooting on the ball taking a shot to score, and can he nutmeg very well?

    And the mass Jurists on the same website came out after the Newcastle vs Arsenal match to condemn Mkhitaryan seriously for his lackluster performance in the match for Arsenal. And would not want to see Emery play him as a starter henceforth. Even Xhaka too was not spared of condemnation by the jurists for his miss placed passes in the match and his giving the ball away carelessly many a times in the game to the opposition. But AMN who they had condemned totally for the own goal he scored in the Barca game to hand them a 2-1 win over Arsenal in a friendly at Camp Nou was hailed for his performance for Arsenal in the Newcastle match. Willock too was accorded some praising.

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