- Yet another example of the way the media tries to put down Arsenal
- The figures from Arsenal v Man U are utterly extraordinary, and misleading
By Tony Attwood
Has the media miscounted the 25 man squad?
“Arteta facing Europa League squad problem to make room for new Arsenal signings” is a story that recently turned up in the Mirror. It was then repeated in www.ground.news, allgoals.com and flipboard.com each of whom seems to treat the Mirror as a serious news source (for reasons that will not become clear at this point).
Now I take up this issue with trepidation because I invariably get age and the home growniness or otherwise (and I should add that I know that growniness is not a word, but if someone who is silly emits silliness then a player who is homegrown should indeed emit homegrowniness) very mixed up.
But to the best of my calculating ability here is the 25 list as it stands.
- Rob Holding (HG)
- Eddie Nketiah (HG)
- Ben White (HG)
- Aaron Ramsdale (HG)
- Reiss Nelson (HG)
- Emile Smith-Rowe (HG)
- Matthew Smith (HG)
- Granit Xhaka
- Kieran Tierney
- Mohamed Elneny
- Cedric Soares
- Gabriel Magalhaes
- Thomas Partey
- Albert Sambi Lokonga
- Martin Odegaard
- Takehiro Tomiyasu
- Matt Turner
- George Lewis
- Fabio Vieira
- Gabriel Jesus
- Oleksandr Zinchenko
- Leandro Trossard
- Jakub Kiwior
So that leaves us with two spare places one of which is reserved for a home grown player. The home grown rule is currently stated as applying to either “players who were on a club’s books for three years between the ages of 15 and 21” or “players who were on another club’s books in the same association for three years between the ages of 15 and 21. No club can have more than four association-trained players among their eight ‘local’ nominees on List A.”
Thus we have two places spare, one of which must be a homegrown player if we are to maximise our 25-player list.
However as you may have noticed, four Arsenal players are not listed above. They are, Marquinhos, Saka, Martinelli, and Saliba, none of whom count in the 25 because they are too young.
Now I thought of all this today because of a headline in the Daily Mirror which tells us that “Mikel Arteta facing Europa League squad problem to make room for new Arsenal signings”
The piece goes on to say that “Arsenal’s January signings of Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior has left Gunners boss Mikel Arteta with a headache over the club’s Europa League squad selection,” and that “Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will have to leave a first-team player out of the club’s Europa League squad following the signings of Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior.” Which is a pretty clear statement.
So, I have indeed added Trossard and Kiwior to the list and I still only make it 23. The Mirror of course does not give us the benefit of its research which says that the player number is not 23 but is 25, and I can’t see where my calculations and theirs differ.
Now if I am wrong, please do write in, in a kindly and patient manner explaining which bit of this I have gone wrong, on. But if I am right we do still have two spare places for the rest of this season, one of which is reserved for a home-grown player.
However, there is another thought that might be of concern. In the summer of this year it is more than likely that Arsenal will want to be buying other players. And my calculations suggest that Saka, Martinelli and Saliba will all cross the age-restriction line and become not under 21 players but full-bloodied squad members.
So even if the club buys no more players now, then come the summer a player is going to have to go, just to get the squad down to 25.
I suspect that might be Elneny, who has suffered a series of injuries this year. But I also suspect he might not leave the club but might move into a training or support role.
That raises the issue of Soares who is expected to complete the loan signing to Fulham lasting six months. But ESPN say that there will be “no option or obligation to make it a permanent deal.” Maybe he will return to Arsenal, maybe he will go.
So that would take us into the summer transfer market having to sell or loan out players just to stay where we are. And you can bet that the media will be full of tales of the hundreds of thousands of players Arsenal are going to sign – without selling anyone.
Or alternatively of Arsenal chaos, having got themselves into a position where they have to sell because they “miscounted”.
If I have got this all wrong, tell me in polite and gentle terms. Please.
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