Liverpool have emerged as a potential landing spot for Jarrod Bowen.
Despite no earlier indication of their interest, there may be a simple explanation as to why Liverpool have turned their attentions to the English winger, and that is to do with Premier League rules.
The Athletic have reported that the 24-year-old from West Ham is being considered by Liverpool to bolster their attacking options. This comes after reports linking Liverpool to Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and PSV’s Donyell Malen.
The opinion of fans on Bowen may be split, however there could be one reason why he makes a more likely signing.
According to Premier League regulations, clubs are only allowed a maximum of 17 non-‘homegrown’ players within their squad, which may not only encourage Liverpool to sign a homegrown player, but make this a necessity.
The Homegrown Player Rule
In 2010 the Premier League squad rules were adjusted to limit the maximum number of players that could be registered to 25, and the maximum number of non-homegrown players to 17.
The Premier League identify a homegrown player as someone who, irrespective of nationality, has been registered with a club affiliated to either the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period of at least three entire seasons prior to their 21st birthday. Any player registered has to be over the age of 21.
As a result teams need to have at least eight homegrown players if they wish to register a full 25-man squad.
What this means for Liverpool
Liverpool have every intention next season of challenging across multiple competitions. Their task has only been made harder by teams around them, such as the two Manchester clubs, strengthening further this summer.
It was clear that deficiencies within the squad hurt the Reds last season, and being able to register a full 25-man Premier League contingent will only help Jurgen Klopp balance the needs of the team as the season develops.
Currently Liverpool only have seven homegrown players – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nat Phillips and Caoimhin Kelleher. It is important to note that youngsters like Harvey Elliot and Curtis Jones are not old enough to be registered but they are still eligible to play.
The club may be admirers of Bowen but his advantages to the registration rule may be seen with the same importance as his many other attributes on the field. It may not become a choice of who Liverpool want to sign, but who they are able to sign.
Should the sales of Henderson or Phillips be completed then we should certainly anticipate further moves for players who have learned their trade domestically.