Liverpool are up against the homegrown rules for the Premier League next season. It’s going to affect their transfer plans.
Premier League homegrown rules state a club cannot register more than 17 non-homegrown players in their squad of 25. What exactly is a homegrown player, then?
It’s someone who spent at least 36 months with a club from either England or Wales (not Scotland) before turning 21. Those 36 months don’t necessarily need to be continuous, though they almost always are.
Now, anyone 21 and under doesn’t need registering. Someone like Mateusz Musialowski, then, could play even without the 36 months.
So taking all of that into consideration, Liverpool are in a tough spot. They have around 20 players on their books right now who aren’t homegrown.
We’ll have a go at listing them all here:
Alisson Becker, Adrian, Loris Karius, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Kostas Tsimikas, Andy Robertson, Joel Matip, Fabinho, Thiago, Naby Keita, Marko Grujic, Xherdan Shaqiri, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Taiwo Awoniyi.
The immediate thing you’ll notice is that a few of those definitely won’t be at Anfield next season. Karius and Awoniyi seem obvious in that respect.
But they’re the only ‘definites’ we see. Grujic will likely leave, too, as could Origi and Shaqiri but we wouldn’t say it with 100% certainty.
After all, we thought Grujic would leave last year.
One more thing to consider is that these are just the non-homegrown players. Throw in every senior player and Liverpool have a squad of 30 when they can only register 25.
And now we’re into difficult transfer territory.
Liverpool push against Premier League homegrown rules
Liverpool have to sell players before they can buy. That’s true both financially and with respect to registration.
Because right now, they’re running a risk of having players on their books that they can’t use. That’s quite bad and per the Athletic, the club recognises that.
20 non-homegrown players mean three must be sold just to get down to 17. Liverpool would have to move on even more if they want to bring in foreign players.
And having 30 senior players on the books means they’ll need to move on five simply so there aren’t people at the club who can’t play. That’s particularly important if finances are tight.
They can’t have a situation, for instance, where Grujic or Karius are just training and being paid a weekly wage without registration. In that scenario, we imagine Liverpool would rather sign no one and use what they’ve got.
It’s certainly more cost-effective.
We can see how Liverpool trim their squad down, though. From the foreign player group, Karius, Awoniyi, Grujic, Shaqiri, Origi and arguably Minamino could leave.
That would be six, leaving room for a new signing without restrictions. But the likes of Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo will also surely leave.
If all of those players depart, Liverpool would dip below the 25-man mark. It seems easy but the club is in a weak position here of needing to sell.
Will they settle for reduced fees in order to clear out the squad? Or will Liverpool stick to their values and risk not having space for signings?
We’re really not sure right now. Only the next month or so will tell.