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Homegrown players, under-21s and the current Chelsea squad

Thananuwat Srirasant

Just in case we were all wondering how much room was left on the Chelsea squad after the shuffling around we did earlier in the summer, I've prepared a handy-dandy chart showing what the current first-team squad looks like under Premier League rules:

Green denotes a homegrown player, which applies to anyone who was registered with an English club for three seasons before their 21st birthday (even if they were sent on loan overseas). We currently have six on the squad -- but we can have as many as we would like, up to the limit of 25 senior players. Eight is preferable, but the losses of Ross Turnbull and Daniel Sturridge took us down from that ideal figure.

The real restriction, so far as a cosmopolitan side like Chelsea are concerned, is the limit on non-homegrown players. We're only allowed 17 of those, but despite Oscar and Eden Hazard graduating to the senior squad (they were under-21s last season!), we're still under that limit at 16.

Blue denotes under-21 players. For next season, that's anyone born on or after January 1st, 1992. We obviously have a lot more than three of those, but I included Marco van Ginkel, Tomas Kalas and Romelu Lukaku because Jose Mourinho has already claimed that they'll be in the first team. Kalas and Lukaku have two seasons of under-21 eligibility left, after which they'll count as homegrown players, while van Ginkel is only fitting in as an under-21 for this season.

The under-21s don't count against the 25-man squad list, so Chelsea theoretically have three slots open, including one international. In order to buy more than one non-home-grown player, we'd have to get rid of someone already on the squad -- presumably Henrique Hilario, whom I'm not even convinced is still around. Acquiring a Wayne Rooney, on the other hand, wouldn't really impact our squad flexibility at all. Although it would leave a dent in our finances.

Long story short, though -- the squad's in good shape and can absorb a couple of additions without running afoul of Premier League rules. Hurray!

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