Norwich City defender Elliott Ward is the odd man out in 25-man Premier League squad
Norwich City defender Elliott Ward is the main casualty after being omitted from Chris Hughton's Premier League 25-man squad listing.
The experienced central defender will play no part in the Canaries' league campaign until at least the New Year period after Hughton had to submit his squad in line with Premier League rules following the close of last week's August transfer window.
Ward has missed the early part of the league campaign after picking up an ankle injury during pre-season, but Hughton revealed recently the former Coventry and West Ham centre-back had returned to light training.
The arrival of summer signings Michael Turner and Sebastien Bassong allied to the impressive form of Leon Barnett appears to have pushed Ward down the pecking order. Hughton sanctioned a season-long loan move for fellow centre back Dani Ayala to Nottingham Forest earlier this summer and Ward's exclusion from City's Premier League squad could raise the prospect of a temporary spell away from Carrow Road.
The loan window for Football League clubs is set to re-open later this week and Ward is sure to be in demand after playing a key role in City's successful Championship promotion campaign. The 27-year-old missed the first seven months of last season's Premier League tilt when he suffered knee ligament damage on the club's German pre-season tour, but Ward starred in a 3-2 win at Swansea in February on his return. The defender went on to make a further 12 Premier League appearances over the remaining months of last season.
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Steven Whittaker and Jacob Butterfield are both included in the 25-man squad released by the Premier League tonight, although both have yet to make a Premier League appearance for the club. Whittaker damaged ankle ligaments in pre-season whilst Butterfield continued his fitness return from a knee injury with a midweek 90-minute run out in the development side's home league defeat to Reading.
Hughton's decision to utilise his full quota of senior players also rules out the prospect of bringing in any potential free agents, who could be signed outside the transfer window.
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City's squad list complies with Premier League rules on the inclusion of at least eight 'homegrown' players – denoted by players who have been registered with clubs in either England or Wales for the past three seasons.
The likes of Korey Smith, Declan Rudd and Jed Steer and new Tottenham recruit Harry Kane are eligible to feature in the Premier League without being listed in the 25-man squad as top flight clubs can supplement their lists with unlimited players aged under 21 at the start of this calendar year.
Changes can only be permitted to the declared squads outside the two seasonal transfer windows in what the Premier League term 'extenuating circumstances'. The squad regulations do not apply to Capital One or FA Cup matches.
• Norwich City 2012/13 Premier League declared 25-man squad (excluding players aged 21 or under on January 1, 1991)
John Ruddy, Mark Bunn.
Russell Martin, Steven Whittaker, Sebastien Bassong, Ryan Bennett, Michael Turner, Leon Barnett, Javier Garrido, Marc Tierney.
Simon Lappin, Bradley Johnson, Jonathan Howson, Andrew Surman, Anthony Pilkington, Wes Hoolahan, David Fox, Elliott Bennett, Alexander Tettey, Jacob Butterfield, Robert Snodgrass.
Grant Holt, Simeon Jackson, Steve Morison, Chris Martin.