It looks like we’re going to have to sell some of our non-homegrown players in upcoming windows, or start to recruit more Englishmen.
For those who aren’t aware, the homegrown rule requires our squad to have a minimum of 8 ‘homegrown’ players in our 25 man Premier League squad, although the numbers can be made up by including any under-21 player in the squad list and they count as ‘homegrown’. In effect this means that the true limit is 17 non-homegrown players who are over 21 at the start of the season.
A ‘homegrown’ player is a player who “irrespective of nationality or age, has been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period of three seasons or 36 months prior to 21st birthday”, which can also include the season of them turning 21.
Let’s take a look at our prospective squad for the the 1st July 13, in a hypothetical world where we make three or four heavily rumoured signings this window.
01 – Cabaye
02 – Anita
03 – Cissé
04 – Ben Arfa
05 – Amalfitano
06 – Gutierrez
07 – Marveaux
08 – Tioté
09 – Obertan
10 – Debuchy
11 – Santon
12 – Yanga-Mbiwa
13 – Gouffran
14 – French CM
— Coloccini (going to leave?)
— Xisco (contract expires)
Presuming Coloccini is granted his leave between now and the summer, and Xisco isn’t retained, that leaves us with 14 non-homegrown players who would need a place in our squad, leaving us with up to 3 more spaces for non-homegrown players.
However we will also potentially have another two players who will classify as under 21 for that season, but become non-homegrown over 21 players in the coming seasons; a French LB and Mehdi Abeid.
We then have our homegrown contingent, these are players who count towards the homegrown quota, but as they’ll be classed as over 21 in 13/14, they must be named in the 25 man squad to represent us in the league.
01 – Williamson
02 – Perch
03 – Gosling
04 – R Taylor
05 – Krul
06 – Elliot
07 – Shola
08 – S Taylor
09 – Ranger
10 – Ferguson
— Simpson (contract expires)
— Harper (contract expires)
Presuming Simpson and Harper are not retained, we will have 10 homegrown players who need to be named in the 25 man squad, added to the previous 14 and we’re at 24/25 players, and the homegrown quota has been satisfied.
In this hypothetical world we face a problem; many of our homegrown contingent are our weaker/squad players, but we can only add up to three more non-homegrown players, at the expense of a two homegrown players (Ranger? Williamson? perhaps even Shola?) before we slam up against both the 25 man squad and the 17 non-homegrown player limits.
Unless we start to sell some of our mostly French imports, we’re going to have to start buying English, or otherwise homegrown, soon. Although we do have several players who will still be ‘under 21’ for 13/14, but will class as homegrown in the seasons after, but it’s anyone’s guess how many of these will actually make it.
U21s Who Will Be Homegrown
Moyo (I think he will just qualify)
(not an exhaustive list)
Obviously this is all hypothetical, and likely we will be clearing out more than just those who I’ve listed as expected to leave in the summer, but it’s still something to consider. Unless we start selling some of the foreign players we’ve plucked from overseas at bargain prices, as we go forward, especially if we intend to improve our squad further, we’re going to have to start paying the premium associated with English players if our youth set-up doesn’t produce the goods.
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