Over the years I have written blogs on the status (not state) of our squad.
Basically answering the questions of how many non-home grown players we have, how many home grown, how many U21.
It is usually a good exercise to see exactly why Arsenal need to sell before buying, and to see what status of player we can sign.
As always, the rules.
People often make the mistake of thinking you need a minimum of 8 home grown players in the squad. You do not. There is no minimum.
The rule revolve around the maximum of non-home grown players. You can have no more than 17.
For all intents and purposes, a side could register just 17 players for a season. All non-home grown. And not register a single home grown player.
You also have U21 players. They do not need to be registered in the main squad list.
For this season a you are U21 if you are born before 1st January 2000.
As it stands (I am writing this on Tuesday morning), our squad looks like this:
The break down is as follows:
- Non-home grown – 16 players
- Home grown – 8 players
- U21 – 6 players
So to put simply, Arsenal have one space left in the squad of 25 that had to be registered with the Premier League. That space can be filled with anyone – home grown or non-home grown.
Some people are concerned that selling Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland Niles, Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding and Reiss Nelson would vastly reduce our home grown contingent.
Yes, it would do that but it really is not that important.
Over the 3 categories Arsenal currently have 30 players. With no European football we have less games. We really do not need that many players.
All 5 of those players could be sold and not replaced and Arsenal would still have 2 players for each position.
The only issue selling all 5 would mean is we would still onely have 1 non-home grown player spot. So if we sold them and wanted to add another couple of players, one would have to be home grown and the other either home grown or non-home grown.
As our main targets seem to be James Maddison and Aaron Ramsdale, this does not seem to be a huge issue.
Edu and his team will also be looking to move on a few more non-home grown players.
The likes of Runar Alex Runarsson, Saed Koalsinac, Lucas Torreira and Willian will all surely be sold or loaned out before the end of the summer.
Getting rid of these 4 would give Arsenal a lot of flexibility as to what they can bring in.
Looking towards the future, everyone on the U21 list br Nuno Taveras will become “home grown” over the next 2 seasons so we also do not have much to worry about there.
So as it stands, Arsenal are in a tough position on squad size rather than the make up of the squad. We can only add one senior player to it without selling or loaning.
Selling players is key prior to further investment.