Who will make Norwich City manager Alex Neil’s 25-man Premier League squad?
- Credit: Archant
It's a new obstacle Norwich City manager Alex Neil must deal with – Michael Bailey looks at the rules that will shape the Canaries' Premier League squad.
This season's squad numbers might offer clues come the weekend, but it's the big selection come September that will define who leads Norwich City's top-flight return.
Every Premier League club must name a 25-man squad available for selection from the closure of the summer transfer window, until the fun restarts in January.
There are exceptions. Those under 21 at the start of the year – so born on January 1, 1994 or later – don't have to be included in the 25, making the likes of Nathan Redmond, Jamar Loza, Louis Thompson and the Murphy twins free to either keep or loan whenever Alex Neil would see fit.
But every professional over that age can only feature in Premier League games if they make the 25-man cut – which already means one professional will miss out for the rest of the year, although they can still feature in the League Cup.
I'll let you pick the unlucky player – and don't forget, more signings means more senior players likely to miss out if they don't move on.
And at 22, Andre Wisdom would need to be named in the 25 to feature in the league, despite being on loan from Liverpool.
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One problem unlikely to affect City as much as some of their rivals is the limitation on non-homegrown players – aimed at ensuring more English products feature in the Premier League.
A minimum of eight homegrown stars must be included in the 25.
However, with it defined as a player registered to an English or Welsh club for three years before their 21st birthday, the rule allows the likes of Sweden international Martin Olsson and Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty to make the cut, thanks to their respective youth development at Blackburn and Burnley.
Either way, as a top-flight club it's all about planning around your 25 – and as a player, you simply don't want to miss out on a place.
NORWICH CITY'S CURRENT SQUAD OPTIONS
Total non-homegrown and homegrown senior players must equal a squad of 25 for Premier League games.
• Homegrown players (17) – maximum 25 allowed
John Ruddy (GK)
Declan Rudd (GK)
Jake Kean (GK)
Russell Martin (D)
Michael Turner (D)
Martin Olsson (D)
Ryan Bennett (D)
Andre Wisdom (D, season-loan from Liverpool)
Elliott Bennett (D)
Bradley Johnson (M)
Gary O'Neil (M)
Robbie Brady (M)
Jonny Howson (M)
Kyle Lafferty (F)
Lewis Grabban (F)
Cameron Jerome (F)
Gary Hooper (F)
• Non-homegrown players (9) – maximum 17 allowed
Steven Whittaker (D)
Sebastien Bassong (D)
Tony Andreu (M)
Wes Hoolahan (M)
Alex Tettey (M)
Vadis Odjidja (M)
Graham Dorrans (M)
Youssouf Mulumbu (M)
Ricky van Wolfswinkel (F)
• Players officially considered under-21 who don't have to be included in the squad
Remi Matthews (GK, on loan to Burton until January)
Harry Toffolo (D)
Reiss Awuah (D)
Adel Gafaiti (D)
Reece Hall-Johnson (D)
Josh Murphy (M)
Nathan Redmond (M)
Jacob Murphy (M)
Conor McGrandles (M)
Louis Thompson (M)
Cameron King (M)
Carlton Morris (F, on loan to Hamilton until January)
Jamar Loza (F)