Reshaping the squad & the 25-man squad rule
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):
Rafael van der Vaart
Yago Falque Silva
Emmanuel Adebayor (assuming he signs in the next few days, as expected)
That would mean that the following miss out:
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)
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:
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.