Why are Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea chasing home-grown players in the transfer window?

Raheem Sterling Liverpooln

As Man City edge closer to signing Raheem Sterling, here's why top clubs are targeting homegrown talent...

The FA’s current home-grown player rules state that each Premier League side must have a minimum of eight home-grown players in the 25-man squads they submit at the start of the campaign.

To qualify as home-grown, a player must have been registered with a club affiliated to the FA or the Welsh FA for a period of three seasons prior to his 21st birthday. 

But while Premier League sides are busily ensuring they comply to the current regulations, they are also wary that FA chairman Greg Dyke intends to introduce even tougher rules from 2016, which will increase the required number of home-grown players from eight to 12 out of 25 by 2020 in the hope of improving the national team.

For now, as long as a side has no more than 17 overseas players, they can supplement their 25-man squad with youth teamers, but complying with the rules requires squad adjustments for some of the Premier League’s top sides ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.

Manchester City

Manchester City's Joe Hart is one of five goalkeepers in contention
Image: Joe Hart is one of City's home-grown talents

City’s transfer plans are being heavily influenced by the home-grown player quota this summer – as is clear from their interest in Sterling.

Last year Manuel Pellegrini’s side entered the season with a home-grown player quota made up of Frank Lampard, James Milner, Dedryck Boyata, Gael Clichy, John Guidetti, Joe Hart, Scott Sinclair and Richard Wright.

But this summer, only Hart, Clichy and back-up goalkeeper Wright remain, leaving five vacant spots for home-grown players.

Sterling would take one of those places, while City will also hope to promote the best youngsters from their new, state-of-the-art academy.


Cesc Fabregas, John Terry and Gary Cahill are Chelsea’s only home-grown players over the age of 21 but Jose Mourinho has internal solutions from his FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League-winning age-group teams. “My conscience tells me that if, for example, (Lewis) Baker, (Isaiah) Brown, and (Dominic) Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself,” the Chelsea boss said last summer.

Loftus-Cheek was taken off after 28 minutes against Sydney FC
Image: England Under-21 international Ruben Loftus-Cheek could play a more prominent role for Chelsea next season

Mourinho has already begun blooding the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Brown and Solanke with the home-grown quota in mind.

Loftus-Cheek, in particular, looks ready for the rigours of Premier League football, while striker Patrick Bamford could also play a part after impressing on loan at Middlesbrough last season. With one or two more experienced home-grown signings, the Blues will be relaxed about filling the quota.


The Reds have acted swiftly to bolster their home-grown contingent this summer following the departures of Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Brad Jones, with Sterling and Italy international Fabio Borini - who also fills the home-grown criteria - likely to leave.

Image: James Milner has completed a move to Liverpool

England international Milner has completed a Bosman to Anfield after reaching the end of his deal at the Etihad, and the Reds also won the race to sign Burnley’s Danny Ings, who scored 11 Premier League goals last season and is currently on England U21 duty.

England U19 international Joe Gomez has also arrived after an impressive breakthrough campaign with Charlton in the Championship. After a flurry of early transfer activity, Liverpool can be contented with their home-grown contingent.

Image: Joe Gomez has signed a five-year contract at Liverpool

As for the rest of the top six, Arsenal will have few concerns over filling the quota next season. Arsene Wenger has developed a ‘British core’ at the Emirates with the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers and Danny Welbeck, while goalkeepers Wojciech Szczesny and Damien Martinez also qualify along with right-back Hector Bellerin.

Hector Bellerin of Arsenal
Image: Hector Bellerin: Qualifies as home-grown after joining Arsenal from Barcelona in 2011

Manchester United also have a strong home-grown contingent which includes Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young and Jonny Evans, with Nathaniel Clyne bolstering their British ranks. 

Juan Mata celebrates with Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney
Image: Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young lead United's home-grown contingent

Tottenham are also well-placed. Spurs have added Kieran Trippier to a home-grown contingent which includes Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Danny Rose, Andros Townsend, Ben Davies, Kyle Walker and Nabil Bentaleb. England Under-21 international Alex Pritchard is also expected to join the first team squad after shining on loan at Brentford last season, while Dele Alli will arrive from MK Dons.

SHAH ALAM, MALAYSIA - MAY 27:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with Thomas carroll after scoring during the pre-season friendly match between Ma
Image: Harry Kane and Tom Carroll are part of Tottenham's home-grown quota
SHAH ALAM, MALAYSIA - MAY 27:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with Thomas carroll after scoring during the pre-season friendly match between Ma
Image: Harry Kane and Tom Carroll are part of Tottenham's home-grown quota

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