Let’s Talk Money… Let’s Talk Transfers… Let’s Talk Home Grown Rule…

Three things that we don’t know the truth about. Money, transfers and the home grown rule. I’m going to go a little way to explaining what the truth is behind all those three things – or at least give my version of what I think the truth is… I’ll start with the home grown rule and take a look at how it effects us, then I’ll look at the money side of things and then finally take a look at the likely transfers…

I’ve been scouring the official UEFA documentation regarding the home grown rule and in contraction to the newspapers and additionally what Arsene said recently about it being unfairly limited to 25 members in the squad, the rule itself doesn’t really harm us whatsoever… Let’s take a look at it:

“A home-grown player will be defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the Season during which he turns 21).‬

Clubs will be able to supplement their squads with unlimited additional players under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences.Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window.‬ ”

The squad size of 25 is basically the number of players over the age of 21 we can have in our main first team squad. A quick scan through the first team squad (okay, it wasn’t quick), allows me to group players into three categories. Just a quick reminder – from next season, 8 of the 25 players must be home grown (as per definition)… although the details below are aimed at the current crop of players rather than the ones next season (simply because I don’t know who will be here!)… but at next year’s ages

Category 1: Players over 21 and not home grown (max 17)

  1. Manuel Almunia
  2. Lukasz Fabianski
  3. Bacary Sagna
  4. Thomas Vermaelen
  5. William Gallas
  6. Mikael Silvestre
  7. Sol Campbell
  8. Abou Diaby
  9. Tomas Rosicky
  10. Samir Nasri
  11. Andrei Arshavin
  12. Emmanuel Eboue
  13. Eduardo
  14. Van Persie

Category 2: Players over 21 but are defined as home grown (min 8 )

  1. Vito Mannone
  2. Philippe Senderos
  3. Alex Song
  4. John Djourou
  5. Gael Clichy
  6. Cesc Fabregas
  7. Denilson
  8. Carlos Vela
  9. Niklas Bendtner

Category 3: Players under 21 (unlimited)

  1. Wojciech Szczesny
  2. Kieran Gibbs
  3. Armand Traore
  4. Craig Eastmond
  5. Aaron Ramsey
  6. Jack Wilshere
  7. Fran Merida
  8. Theo Walcott

So, by my count, we only have 14 players who are over 21 whom are not home grown. That means, providing we don’t sell any of them, we can still buy three players aged over 21 and include them in our squad without having to leave anyone out. We’ve actually got 9 home grown players but have been trained by the club for a minimum of three seasons. But in reality, the home grown rule doesn’t depict age, so we actually have many more – players like Szczesny, Gibbs, Traore, Merida etc etc are technically categorised as home grown even though they are so young.

You’ll note that there are 9 players in the home grown category, so they contribute towards the overall quota – but I consider Senderos already gone – hence the note about the ability to buy three non home grown players. If one or two of Gallas or Silvestre or Campbell were to leave, you’re looking at the possibility of bringing in four or even five players if needs must. But one thing to be aware of is that players under 21 will grow up end up in the over 21 quota, so bringing in 5 over 21′s this summer would mean a full quota next.

In fact, we have the highest number of home grown players in the Premiership. You may see other teams able to name 8 home grown players – but many of them will have to add people in from their youth teams and promote normally unused players, whereas our squad is complimented by this age bracket and ruling. In addition, the players under 21 are all of extremely high quality comparably.

So, what does mean this summer? Well I think it’s clear that we can bring in 3 players of a decent experienced age group without any worry of the home grown rule. At the moment, we have 23 players over 21 (9 classified as home grown) and with Senderos, Silvestre and possibly Gallas and Almunia off this summer, we will have 19 players, with 6 places up for grabs.

The transfers which seem most probable are a new goalkeeper, a new centre back, a new striker – I would expect all three of these players to be over 21 and not home grown. Who – well who is a different story altogether and only one player – in Maroune Chamakh is on the radar for us fans. Of course, Arsene feels that he has already identified the players and hopes to sign them up before the world cup, so it’s currently a waiting game.

For those of you unaware of Arsene’s comments ready the money situation, here’s a brief reminder:

“Due to the construction of the Emirates Stadium, for many years we could not spend a lot,” said Wenger. “Our financial situation has greatly improved. We are finally able to buy the players we think we need.”

And having sold Adebayor and Toure for a combined fee of £41m last summer and sales in previous seasons too, Hleb, Gilberto, Hoyte, £20m, Thierry Henry, Ljungberg, Diarra, Reyes, Aliaidiere, £35m – you’re looking at roughly £100m through the door (including the Bentley sell on fee), with Nasri, Vermaelen, Eduardo and Arshavin denting about £40m, leaving a £60m surplus… add to that the increasing revenues and prize money, and of course, sales of the Highbury flats, we’re now the third richest club in the world and it goes without doubt that Arsene can spend this summer.

Well, my fellow Gooners, we know a little bit more about the money available, a little more about the transfers and a whole load more about the home grown rule. That, as they say when eating a tortilla…. is a wrap… time to digest… Adios for now…

  • vj

    we all know bout chamakh but what bout goalkeeper, german i reckon frey i reckn. cb who knows so many out there. still think we should get a cm as well

  • Pissed off

    Steve Ireland won’t be a bad addition either.

  • Yemi

    I heard city want to offload 4 of their players. Including adebayor, shawn wright philip and ireland

  • Sam

    Dev – Good article as always. It’s easy to see that the home grown rule won’t affect Arsenal much. But how about ManU, Chelsea, Sp*rs & City? How can they have so many home grown players? Can we expect them to suffer (yehhhh….!)?

  • Kuka

    @Yemi – Am not shocked to hear about Adebayor. If he stuck to his game, he would have been top-class. Am sorry for both Ireland and Shawn – because they are top players. Shawn would make a great winger. AW was linked to him before he moved to Chelsea. Not sure if he still rates him. Ireland is a class act too, but he needs a manager who can bring the best out of him Mark Hughes managed to do that…..

  • Nick

    @Kuka… don’t be shocked about Ade. Man City are quickly rivaling Real Madrid in terms of all money and no brains. They are overreacting to not having everything all sewn up this season and being in the CL. They will be buying and selling every year for the next few to try and “get it right” until their owner ruins the club.

    I’d have Ireland, he’s quality. I hope Ade goes somewhere in Italy since they wanted him sooooooooooooooo bad there when he was with Arsenal, lol. I’m pretty sure City will lose Santa Cruz since he has barely played.

    Then they’ll have to deal with a new manager because I don’t think Mancini will last. SO the new boss will want to bring in new players as well.

  • Flamez

    shouldnt Campbell be on the home-grown list as he is english and over 21 if he stays?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Frey
    subotic
    chamakh
    plus more if any one leaves

  • Kuka

    Am watching Barca play Inter and I now understand how we fans feel when our team over plays with the extra pass

  • Pissed off

    Barca was simply reduced to Arsenal.

  • Francis

    well the wnegr has to learn that arsenal cannot play every game the same way and that he has to learn to vary his tactics. wenger has to set his team up not only on arsenal’s strengths alone but look athe opposition play. wenger is very stubborn in this respect.

    mourinho knew man for man, he couldnt play the normal way so he had to negate barca’s high pressure tactics by being bold and playing 3 mobile and workman like strikers upfront in the 1st game…this kept barca fullbacks occupied as well as pique and puyol something to think about. these tactics were altered in the 2nd game.

    simple word to describe this tactical nous is efficiency!!!

    ensuring maximum returns from the resources available.

  • Pissed off

    Yes Francis, but Wenger is a bit too old or will I say Bigoted (LOL)with his ideas. To be honest he really improved on his tactical approach to games this season, made some right and effective substitutions but still maintained a rigid formation. I will say Wenger is a good coach but a slow learner or will I say his too stubborn to accept things the way they really are.

  • Pissed off

    “We didn’t want the ball because when Barcelona press and win the ball back, we lose our position – I never want to lose position on the pitch so I didn’t want us to have the ball, we gave it away,” he said.

    “I told my players that we could let the ball help us win and that we had to be compact, closing spaces,” – Mourinho. Hope Wenger can learn a bit from this quote.

  • devday

    @ Flamez:
    Good point – I never thought about it that way – I presumed the player had to be trained by the same club… one for clarification… then pretty much any player who has trained in England between 15 and 21 is classified as home grown.

  • Yemi

    Quoting:
    Andrei Arshavin’s agent has outlined the Russian’s deep disappointment at Arsenal’s failure to win a trophy this season but said that it would take something “extraordinarily dramatic” for him not to end his career at the Emirates. (Telegraph)

  • Nick

    The actual meaning of Arshavin’s agent is “We are sorry that Andrei’s quotes about wishing he could play for Barcelona were printed and pissed everyone off. If Barcelona made an offer for the moddy little Russian he’d gladly leave but we want to make it clear that he’s happy at Arsenal and they are his club (at the moment). Andrei isn’t looking to join another club that hasn’t made any official offers for his services since the transfer window isn’t open yet this week. Are we clear?

  • goonerman

    the more i read about him the more iw ant him at the club! owen coyle was talking about gary cahill and to be honest he is the perfect CB for us! tall,fast,cool on the ball and a threat from set peices added with the fact he is only 24 and english i cant think of anyone better! i think liverpool will go for him but surely we are a much more attractive club! surely being listed ast he 3rd richest club it must give us some power in the market

  • Nick

    Only if we are willing to spend the money. THe reason we are better off than clubs like Liverpool is because they buy too much and want to just outbid other clubs for players.

  • Francis

    i hope wenger is not just feeding or responding to the dissappointment of this season by talking about his transfer plans….i.e. appease fans in case of a “revolt” or lesser still, apathy towards the remainder of what is left of the season.

    my issue with wenger is having players who are tactically flexible like we had in the past with the likes of vieira, edu, gilberto, parlour, ljunberg, pires….all in midfield.