Liverpool are walking a fine line with Premier League homegrown rules right now. The Reds have left room for a key signing, however.
Premier League homegrown rules state that a squad of 25 can have a maximum of 17 foreign-trained players. Those being players who spent their developmental years outside of England and Wales.
Players can qualify as ‘homegrown’, however, by spending three years in either England or Wales before turning 21. As a result, players 21 and under needn’t be registered.
So Liverpool have 17 foreign players right now. They only have 7 homegrown players older than 21, too, and therefore the Reds can’t quite register a full 25-man squad.
Not that it matters. Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones, for instance, can play without registering. There’s no real issue in terms of registration.
Instead, Liverpool’s position paints a fairly obvious January picture.
Liverpool’s January plan
It’s safe to say that most aren’t happy with Liverpool’s transfer window. The Reds only added Ibrahima Konate and didn’t address midfield or attacking issues.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t correct things in January – if things go badly, we imagine they will. Homegrown rules dictate how they’re likely to do that.
Now, the easiest way would be to add a homegrown player. The Reds reportedly like James Ward-Prowse and Jarrod Bowen, for instance. We imagine this will be where Liverpool look first.
There’s a simple way of making space for a foreign player, too. One of their 17 is Loris Karius, who we imagine won’t play a minute this season. Liverpool can easily leave him out of the squad to make room for someone new.
Leaving Karius out would create space for either two homegrown players – and push them to the 25-man limit – or one foreign player. We can’t imagine Liverpool do more business than that.
So the January plan looks clear. Wait and see how the next few months develop before seeing if there is a standout player to boost the squad this winter.