This season we are going to see a new 25 player squad rule being implemented in the Premier League. There is a lot of confusion regarding this rule and we see many articles floating around that are based on an incomplete understanding of the rule.
A while back there was this notion that Man City need to sell 12 players to comply with the rule! As an extension people decided that players like De Jong and such others were likely to be on the market.
Frankly, it sounded quite preposterous and I decided to check out the details. Normally, I wouldn’t bother about it too much but given the financial state of the football world, Man City’s activities make a difference to almost all clubs in some way or the other.
This squad list on the official website lists 38 players. We can assume Kolarov will be added to that so it will be 39. Six of those players are Under-21 and City don’t really need to include them in the squad of 25. They have sufficient home grown players as well so they don’t need to worry on that front either.
So from the 33 that they have on the roster, they need to keep 8 out. It’s not as big a deal as it sounds.
They have 5 keepers in that list so we can safely assume two will be kept out. Their fourth and fifth choice keepers are not going to make any waves in the market. It would be a different matter if they sell Hart or Given but I doubt that will happen.
That brings us down to 6 players. I’d think Robinho, Jo, and Caicedo – who were all on loan anyway –are likely to be sold or kept out of the squad of 25. Once again it doesn’t change a thing for City because these players were not in the squad last year.
That brings the number down to 3. I’d think players like Shaleum Logan (yeah, even I’d never heard of him till I read their squad list), Michael Johnson, and Kelvin Etuhu (etu who?) could miss out.
So as things stand Man City don’t need to sell Bellamy, Bridge, Ireland or anyone else. Obviously, if they bring someone in they will have to move someone out. That shouldn’t be tough for them. For instance, a deal for Milner could see Ireland moving in the other direction.
This analysis shows City have a good squad right now (albeit a bit defensively overloaded in my opinion). I don’t want to discuss their chances or likely style of play in this article, will cover that a bit later. The sole purpose of this piece is to warn you of the dangers of believing what some lazy and ignorant journalists write. Don’t get your hopes up about Arsenal signing some good players like De Jong. City will only let someone go if they are getting a better player in.