Reshaping the squad & the 25-man squad rule

With the arrival of a new manager, there are always changes to a squad. However, Spurs are entering a real summer of rebuilding; the large number of short-term signings under Redknapp, plus the disenfranchisement of squad players means that we have a lot of apparent deadwood.

A key concern in the remodelling of the first team squad is the 25-man squad rule. The requirement of this rule is that we name a squad of no more than 25 players, eight of whom have to be “home grown”. A home grown player is defined as follows:

A home grown player is defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Welsh Football Association 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).

We do not need to name players who are under 21 on the list; for the 2012/13 campaign under 21 players will have been born on or after 1st January 1991.

As it stands, our 25-man squad would probably consist of (* = home grown player):

Brad Friedel
Heurelho Gomes
Carlo Cudicini

Kyle Walker*
Benoît Assou-Ekotto
Kyle Naughton*
Danny Rose*

Jan Vertonghen
Younes Kaboul
Michael Dawson*
Sébastien Bassong

Scott Parker*
Luka Modric
Tom Huddlestone*
Jake Livermore*

Gareth Bale*
Aaron Lennon*
Rafael van der Vaart
Gylfi Sigurðsson*
Steven Pienaar
Yago Falque Silva
David Bentley*

Jermain Defoe*
Emmanuel Adebayor (assuming he signs in the next few days, as expected)

That would mean that the following miss out:

Jermaine Jenas
William Gallas
Ledley King (rumoured to be close to retirement)
Bongani Khumalo (rumoured to be joining PAOK on loan)
Simon Dawkins (on loan at San Jose Earthquakes)
Giovani Dos Santos (expected to return to Spain)
David Button
Jonathan Obika

We are then able to select any players who were born after January 1991 without needing to register them.This means that any of the following (plus the U18 players) would be available for selection:

Adam Smith
Ryan Mason
Andros Townsend
Dean Parrett
Steven Caulker
John Bostock
Tom Carroll
Nathan Byrne
Jake Nicholson
Massimo Luongo
Ryan Fredericks
Cameron Lancaster
Cristian Ceballos
Jonathan Miles
Jordan Archer
Alex Pritchard
Harry Kane
William Ekong
Kevin Stewart
Jack Barthram
Jack Munns

It is worth bearing in mind, then, that we really need to find buyers or at least loan clubs for those who will not make the cut. In addition, for any further over-21 signings we make, we will need to find a squad space for them.

We are relatively safe in terms of the eight homegrown players and, of course, you don’t actually need to name eight – you can, instead, name one less player in the squad.

Join the conversation

  1. So I'm guessing we'd sacrifice Bentley or Falque if we signed someone like Remy?
    1. Yeah, that's what I'd guess too.
  2. Coulibaly not on the list?
    1. as an under-18 player, Coulibaly's covered by Windy saying "plus the under-18's"
    2. As stated below, Coulibaly is an U18. I doubt he'll see much (if any) first team action this year.
  3. Thanks for the info Windy. If your as-it-stands squad prediction is correct, then when we buy another striker (which we must) then it would seem Falque would be the next in line for the cut.

    Out of the the younger players who do not need to be named, which do you think can make the biggest impact on the squad? I have only heard rumours about the likes of Ceballos and have never really seen much of the Ryan Masons and Cameron Lancasters. Are most set for further loan deals or can they add anything to the prospective campaign?

    1. Hi Jamie. I agree about Falque, with Bentley a close second I'd guess. Think Pienaar will leave too.

      I think Luongo and Smith, probably, although would like to see Pritchard and Mason get matches this season.
  4. This is why you are by far my favourite Spurs blogger. Within 2 days of asking myself the same question, you answer it! By the way Windy, if I'm not mistaken, Jenas is officially out of contract now, can you confirm?
    1. Cheers Jef! I think Jenas might have one more year...
  5. How does Gylfi qualify for the home-grown rule? I'd not seen anything about that before.
    1. He played for Reading U18s, so has done the three years prior to his 21st birthday :)
    2. Was in readings youth academy I believe before he went to hoffenheim
    3. He was at Reading from 2005-2010.
    4. I didn't know that - bonus! Cheers for the info. Nice blog btw. :)
    5. He played for the Royals before moving to Germany. Trained in England
  6. bassong wont be here come sept surely?
    1. I'd guess that AVB will be given the opportunity to assess and decide. He was great alongside Dawson as our 1st choice pairing only a couple of seasons ago remember. He clearly has talent - something's just gone a bit awry in the last 2 years.
    2. I can, strangely, see Bassong being kept - I never would have thought that under Redknapp. With his pace, he will suit the AVB high line better than King or Gallas.
    3. Would be good to "blood" some youngsters in! Kane deserves a shot and caulker, townsend and Bostock have all shown they have the talent to succeed at the lane! AVB looks ideal to integrate these into the first team.... #youneverwinanythingwithkids
    4. I think Bostock will be moving to Swindon - either on loan or permanently. Certainly think Kane, Caulker and Townsend will see some action this year, though!
  7. I think Gallas and King are better than Naughton and Bassong, and Jenas is better than Yago Falque
    1. As above, I think Bassong he will suit the AVB high line better than King or Gallas. King won't carry on playing IMO, and Gallas will head across London.
      I think that if Jenas stays to see out his contract, he will likely leave on loan (although I wouldn't mind him being in the squad).
    2. Naughton has been released. I checked earlier at a lost of released players and he was on there. I think
    3. He hasn't, mate, but he is all set to move to Villa according to reports.
    4. From what i saw of Falque he looked very competent, what he needs though is Premiership experience like Caulker, Walker and Naughton all got.

      Whether it's better for him to stay and cover or go out on loan I'm not sure, he won't get much experience covering Lennon as that itself could facilitate a formation change, Lennon's place in a 433 is not nailed on as it stands now. However, Lennon does play to a very noticeably higher standard when someone on the bench is a direct replacement. Look at his form periods and they match up with the times Bentley wasn't out on loan.

      If Lennon is in the big picture, one of the Bentley, Falque or replacement should be pushing him from the bench
  8. Dan Yeats, gylfi was at reading prior to hoffenheim. The FA regards homegrown as anyone to spend 3 years at an FA registered club between 16 and 21, and he fulfills this from his reading days.
  9. Always great seeing your blogs/tweets windy. What do we know of the young defender from Man U. I hear he plays LB and can cover CB. I am guessing he would count as U21 and so I could then see Rose being loaned for PL experience and Fryatt covering BAE?
    1. Cheers! Fryers is, as you say, primarily a left back, but can fill in at CB. He is 19 so got two years left as an U21. I can see Rose going either on loan or permanently...
  10. We do also have Europa - which we can have a different 25 squad for, so don't necessarily need to offload all the extras. And Prem squad can be rehashed in January, Europa after the group stages
    1. This is true - worth hanging on to some until January? I'm not sure more senior players would be too happy with that, mind.
  11. This is a quality blog. Your analysis is an easy read and informative.
    I personally think there's more heading for the chop, pienaar, gallas and jenas to start. While the 25 is strong i believe that the u21 section contains a few future starters and they need prem experience. so more to go.
    odds on luka staying, surely getting shorter!!
    1. Thank you, appreciate that!
      I think you're right with your three to leave.
      Do you think if we were to announce a couple of big signings, Modric could be convinced to stay?
  12. Been wondering for a while, about the youngsters, are there som e "good ones", I mean, really good ones in the club? Sorry, don`t follow them from Swdeen... AVB seems to be building something really nice.., regarding the age of all "newcumbers"..
    1. YES, some very good young players at the club. You will probably see them in the EUROPA league. At their age/level, are as good or better than any European Club.
    2. As above, I agree. We have some top prospects - hoping to see Luongo get some games this year, who I rate very highly. Caulker is going to be a real gem, obviously. Pritchard is another to keep an eye on this season, and I'd love Mason to get some games.
    3. Windy - Is it true that Alex Pritchard only has a year left on his contract? If so, what the hell is going on?! He looked amazing against Inter Milan.
    4. It was reported in the Mail that he was out of contract this summer, and there's been no mention on a contract extension being signed... all very odd. I'm sure we'll want to tie him down.
  13. Thanks - great article Windy. Getting excited about the new season already... Ess.
    1. Cheers! I am dead excited too :)
  14. Gallas over Bassong surely?
    1. I can't imagine him working well with the high line... can see him leaving before long.
  15. Great blog mate, makes lots of sense and thankfully lacking in moaning from contributors... bookmarking you from now on.
    1. Cheers, appreciate that!
  16. Good work again Windy but rather than the Premiership rules think we are better looking at the more demanding UEFA rules as these are the ones governing CL squads - and even if we are not too bothered by Europoa League levy/AVB will be planning for CL in 2013/14.

    The 'Club trained' players we have are Button, King, Livermore, Lennon, Bale, Rose - so if King retires and Rose goes on loan or leaves we are down to the minimum 4 (which includes Button). Of course we hope that some of Cauker, Townsend and A Smith stay and can qualify as 'Club trained' next season.

    The Association trained, 'non club trained' are Dawson, Walker, Naughton, Sigurdson, Parker (5 of them - with Club trained, one more than the minimum 8) plus Defoe, Bentley, Jenas and Obika who probably will not be in the squad this season. Shows that Sigursson was an important player to sign !

    Overall though we are pretty close to the minimum requirements - unless we get more club trained players next season and possibly more association trained players. Especially if we sell Naughton !

    The u 21 rules are slighly different so players like Luongo do not qualify as they have been with the club for insufficient time.

    1. Hello Spursidol! Hope you're well :)

      Good shout on the UEFA rules, and I'm sure it's a concern. I think we have enough waiting in the wings to cover ourselves.
    2. Thanks.

      Suddenly woke up with a sweat last night - forgot to include Huddlestone as an Association trained player (not Club trained) - so you could sell Naughton more easily !

  17. This is a worry!.......need to fit TWO more strikers in there as well......gonna have to drop quite a few from your current list!
    1. We definitely have work to do... but with word that Defoe could be moving to Reading, that frees up once space :)
  18. even T.hudd qualifies as cup trained. (courtesy:football manager)
  19. I expect Cudicini, Friedel, Gallas, Vdv, jenas, Modric, bassong out, with Lloris, fryers, Butland, Moutinho, Damiao and one more striker to come in...
  20. A few things that strike me


    One of those big name keepers, one can go instantly. Button is a good third option.
    I Suspect a new keeper in, Gomes and Cuda out, leaving


    Gallas can go. King will surely retire, and Caulker should be 3rd choice. Agree about Bassong. Hate to say it but he's a much better fit than Dawson in this system. Not sure how the club will handle that - since he's a class act and shoe-in for captaincy.

    Naughton can go. I rate Smith the higher, and he will be more prepared to wait for his chance as Walker's understudy. Kaboul can cover RB, and Livermore at a push.

    At Leftback, I'm hoping this Fryers kid is brought in instead of Rose. Rose needs weekly games now, takes up a squad place and just isn't that good at defending. Verts can play here too of course.

    I think whether we keep both Bassong and Dawson may depend on how often we expect to use Kaboul and Verts on the flanks. Benny and Kyle can' play 60 games a season, and AVB will need to decide if Smith or Fryers are ready for the step up.


    Return of Hudd will feel like a new signing. Will also be interesting to see how Livermore gets on, since Harry favoured him very highly.

    Hopefully this is the season Sandro becomes unquestioned first choice. Parker does the last gasp stuff brilliantly, but he doesn't take games by the scruff of the neck in the same way.

    Modric will be a huge loss, Moutinho would soften the blow though.

    Bentley and Pienaar can hopefully be sold. Don't rate then as pacy or direct enough, and Pienaar's heart isn't here. Would like to see Townsend get games on the wings, he's a pacy like-for-like replacement for Lennnon or Bale, and has always rose to the occassion when given games in our first team.

    Falque is an odd one. Not sure why he didn't get a sniff at Southampton because he looked a talent for us in the Europa League.

    Lennon will hopefully be back to his best, and Bale can drop that central role shit. The interview where he said his agent - rather than the manager - was encouraging him to play there tells you everything you need to know about Harry Redknapp. How to play Siggy and VDV baffles me frankly. Any ideas Windy?


    Thought Ade was our best player last season, simply because without him we were dramatically worse. Would like to sign another striker who can play with his back to goal, to avoid having to change our style of play if he gets injured. Defoe is a glorious swub option to change games, but not sure if he'll want to be on the bench anyway.

    Good chance for Kane to step up if Defoe leaves, although still not convinced he's a centre forward.

    So hopefully



    Big chance for Mason. Or perhaps last chance. Pray he can stay injury free.

    Looking at the options what strikes me is that me have a glut of midfielders but nothing else. Carrol, Mason, Livermore, Luongo and Falque have all got the right to expect gametime this season, but can't see all of them getting it.

    While I've got you here Windy, what do you think of Lee from Bolton or Hamit Altinorp. I'd love to see us sign a good technical utility player - a vital position in the modern squad game - and I think they are both gettable. Much rather get Altinorp than Carvalho
    1. Hello, SP! That was epic, and all very interesting!

      I think Lloris is nailed on - personally think he's quite overrated, what do you think?

      I agree re: defence. REALLY don't want to see Dawson leave, but not sure how he fits in under AVB - guess we'll see. I, like you, prefer Smith to Naughton (particularly as an attacikng full back in a 4-3-3). Agree about LB too - talk of Rose going on loan, but I'd not be bothered if it was permanent. Less of an issue now we have Vertonghen.

      Really fascinated to see if/how AVB uses Hudd... like you, Sandro is my key man.

      I think we need to sign competition for Lennon - cannot trust him to be fit and ready enough IMO.

      VDV vs Sigurdsson? Christ knows. Struggling to see where VDV fits in generally - hate saying that as he's a favourite of mine.

      On the youngsters front, I think Mason has more of a chance under a manager who appreciates intelligent players in a different way - it's always been said about AVB that he treats younger, less experienced players the same as the older more established pros, which bodes well.

      Massive fan of CY Lee - if it weren't for his injuries I'd definitely want us to sign him. TBH I'd be tempted anyway. Rumours suggest that Wigan are trying to sign him.

      Great stuff as ever mate.
  21. Have to agree with you about CY Lee; I could never understand why people didn't notice him earlier!


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