How LFC can meet homegrown quota with Szoboszlai & Mac Allister signings

As Liverpool complete their second overseas signing of the summer, many fans are reasonably left wondering where this leaves the Reds with regard to the homegrown quota.

Dominik Szoboszlai follows Alexis Mac Allister through the door at the AXA Training Centre as Jurgen Klopp continues to restock the midfield area following summer departures.

James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all said their farewells to Anfield after the final home game of the season against Aston Villa and a number of those retained are now entering their twilight years.

Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular will leave a hole from a homegrown perspective, with their two ‘replacements’ both coming from abroad.

Premier League rules state that, in their 25-man squads, teams are not allowed to register more than 17 players who fail to meet the homegrown criteria.

To be classed as homegrown, a player must simply have been registered to an FA-affiliated club for a minimum of three years before the age of 21.

Homegrown players (8): Kelleher, Gomez, Phillips, Williams, Van den Berg, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Jones

Non-homegrown players (16): Alisson, Adrian, Van Dijk, Konate, Matip, Tsimikas, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Diaz, Salah, Gakpo, Jota, Nunez

Notable under-21s: Pitaluga, Bradley, Chambers, Morton, Bajcetic, Elliott, Doak, Gordon

As things stand, Szoboszlai’s arrival leaves the Reds with just one non-homegrown slot remaining before the first-team squad reaches the Premier League limit.

2R03B5T Freiburg Im Breisgau, Germany. 06th May, 2023. Soccer: Bundesliga, SC Freiburg - RB Leipzig, Matchday 31, Europa-Park Stadion. Leipzig's Dominik Szoboszlai cheers after the game. Credit: Tom Weller/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTE: In accordance with the requirements of the DFL Deutsche FuBball Liga and the DFB Deutscher FuBball-Bund, it is prohibited to use or have used photographs taken in the stadium and/or of the match in the form of sequence pictures and/or video-like photo series./dpa/Alamy Live News

Adrian‘s latest contract renewal to earn him a non-homegrown place raised eyebrows among supporters given that the Spaniard has played zero minutes since the Community Shield back in August.

The squad can be supported by under-21 players, with Harvey Elliott and Stefan Bajcetic examples of a player who does not need to be registered within the 25-name list.

Clubs can register an unlimited number of under-21 players beyond the 25-man squad limit. For 2023/24, under-21 players will have been born on or after January 1, 2002.

Should Liverpool wish to add more players from elsewhere for the upcoming season, they may have to be clever about which individuals they recruit or face having to sell or not register some existing players.

Romeo Lavia, aged 19, has been linked with a move to Anfield and is an example of a midfielder who would not take up a non-homegrown slot despite being from Belgium originally.

Southampton's Romeo Lavia celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton. Picture date: Tuesday August 30, 2022 (Steven Paston/PA)

Like Bajcetic, Lavia would not require a non-homegrown space in the squad even once he reaches the age of 21 by virtue of having played in England for more than three years.

Ryan Gravenberch would also present a short-term solution, with the Dutchman falling below the age required to be registered in the 25-man squad for 2023/24.

Reports have also indicated that the Reds will look to strengthen the defence this summer, with Chelsea‘s Levi Colwill touted as an ideal solution at centre-back.

The 20-year-old would not need to be registered next season and could go on to take one of the homegrown slots from Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips or Sepp van den Berg.

In short, Liverpool are pushing the homegrown rules to their limits once again this summer but should comfortably be able to adhere to the regulations even if they are to bring more players in this summer.