At last, back to important matters.
Let’s buy Bale, Kovacic, Modric, Martial, De Ligt, Maguire, Grealish, Rabiot, Barrios, Ndombele, Zaha!
Let’s sell Sissoko, N’Koudou, Janssen, Llorente!
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Apart from the well publicised and obvious issues concerning transfer fees, wages, and the ability to convince top players to come to us rather than other big clubs, combined with finding clubs silly enough to buy our rejects for reasonable money, there are other issues that Poch, Dan and the Net Spend Band need to consider carefully.
The Premier League rules concerning squad size and make-up are as follows:
Premier League clubs are allowed a maximum of 25 players in their first-team squad.
8 of these players must be “homegrown”.
The maximum squad size of 25 excludes under 21 players, of which there is no limit.
This means that Premier League clubs can have a maximum of 17 non-homegrown, over 21 players.
Premier League teams can register less than 8 homegrown players, but only on the basis that this would reduce the amount of non-homegrown, over 21 players by the same amount. So if we register 7 homegrown players, we can only register 16 non-homegrown, over 21 players.
Are you with me so far? Good.
Looking at our current squad, we have 18 non-homegrown, over 21 players:
Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga, Aurier, Tobes, Verts, Sanchez (just turned 22), Dembele, Son, Eriksen, Dier*, Moura, Lamela, Wanyama, Sissoko, N’Koudou, Janssen, Llorente.
*Though he was born in England and plays for England, Dier is not considered homegrown as he was brought through a foreign academy. Mental, innit.
We only just scrape through on our 8 homegrown players, the list of 9 below includes 2 players that were out on loan last season:
Trippier, KWP, Davies*, Rose, CCV, Dele, Winks, Kane, Onomah.
*Although according to PL Davies is a homegrown player, according to UEFA he is not due to him being brought through the Swansea academy. This means that we have 19 non-homegrown, over 21 players for the CL, and the CL has the same ruling re the 17/8 split.
So what? We only need to sell/loan one non-homegrown player and we’re within the limits. Most Spurs fans would agree to sell Sissoko, N’Koudou, Janssen and Llorente in a heartbeat, and it looks like Tobes and Dembele are off anyway, so it’s not a problem.
Or is it?
Just because we are happy to cash out on Sissoko, N’Koudou, Janssen and Llorente, doesn’t mean that clubs are falling over each other trying to buy them. And even if there was some interest, do you expect any of the above players to be top of other clubs wishlists? I’d suggest, if at all, they are more likely to be sold or loaned towards the end of the transfer window when clubs get desperate. And would the likes of Sissoko and Llorente agree to a move at all, or stay on their bumper contracts at a CL club and try to fight for their places? This leaves us in a position where we could buy non-homegrown, over 21 players now and risk having players on the books that won’t be able to take part this season, or leaves us open to low-ball bids from clubs knowing we need to get rid.
And as far as Tobes and Dembele are concerned, are there many suggestions for replacements that are homegrown, or under 21 players?
De Ligt and Maguire could fit the bill for Tobes replacements, but I would be sceptical as to whether we could prize either player from their current club, or outbid other interested parties.
None of the speculated Dembele replacements fit the bill either, apart from Grealish, though I don’t see him as a direct replacement for Dembele at all, more a back up to Eriksen.
The conclusion I take from all of this is that, ideally, we need to sell to buy. But not for the reasons that some quarters of the Spurs-lovin blog world like to make out. It appears quite clear to me that it is as much about balancing the squad size and make-up as balancing the books.
I expect good signings this summer, but with consideration, I would suggest that a reasonable percentage of those signings would need to be homegrown or under 21, and any that are not could only be accommodated by selling existing non-homegrown, over 21 players.
I also think that this means it is highly unlikely that we will sell Rose.
Just get on with it, Levy!!
Or maybe this transfer lark isn’t quite as easy as some like to make out?
Some adjustments need to me made to the above info (Unk put me straight!)
We can have up to 17 non-homegrown, over 21 players in our squad no matter what, it does not depend on how many homegrown players we have.
U21 players do not count towards our homegrown allocation, meaning we currently only have 6 homegrown players.
This changes little in the main point made, we can’t go bringing in non-homegrown players without selling/loaning those we already have.