The departure of three English midfielders has left a hole in Liverpool’s squad, and it could affect the club’s transfer business.
As well as his experience and playing expertise, Jordan Henderson‘s move to Al Ettifaq meant Liverpool lost his status as a homegrown player.
In order to comply with competition rules for the Premier League, Liverpool can have a maximum of 17 non-homegrown players in their squad.
This means anybody after that 17-man limit must be homegrown or born later than 2001.
At the time of writing, Liverpool’s numbers would allow just two more foreign players to sign.
The club’s efforts to pursue Romeo Lavia were likely made, in part, due to the fact he would be classed as homegrown and not take up a place in the squad once he turns 22.
To qualify as homegrown, a player must have been registered to an English or Welsh club for a period of three seasons (or years) before his 21st birthday, with a maximum of 17 non-homegrown players permitted in the Premier League.
This is because he will have been at an FA-associated club for more than three years before his 22nd birthday, therefore would be classed as homegrown.
The decision to allow Henderson to leave is becoming more questionable by the day. His departure affects things not necessarily because he would be in our starting XI, but because he was a midfield body.
Liverpool’s current non-homegrown list (domestic competitions)
- Defenders: Van Dijk, Konate, Tsimikas, Robertson, Matip
- Midfielders: Thiago, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai
- Forwards: Salah, Nunez, Jota, Gakpo, Diaz
- That’s 15 of 17 spots already taken.
That’s not a lot to choose from, given one is injury prone and five others are still under 23 years old.
That leaves just new signing Mac Allister as Liverpool’s one supposedly-proven reliable midfielder.
None of them are defensive by trade.
All this suggests Liverpool would be wise to recruit two midfielders, one established No. 6 and another who is versatile.
It would be best if one were a homegrown player, therefore leaving open at least one space that can be used for a defender in this window or next.
In terms of players that have been linked and fit that bill, well there hasn’t really been any.
Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham would have been the two dream signings but they have both moved to different clubs.
Mason Mount also went elsewhere but his ex-Chelsea teammate, Conor Gallagher is one man who could be a potential option.
In terms of defenders that Liverpool could sign who would be classed as homegrown or under-22, Marc Guehi and Levi Colwill are the two most prominent names linked.
However, hopes of signing the latter were crushed when signed a new six-year contract at Chelsea earlier this month.
This all leaves the Reds without an immediate problem in the homegrown department, but with one that could arise in the near future if they don’t act now.