Centre-backs: Bailly, Jones, Koulibaly, Lindelof, Tuanzebe
Full-backs: Dalot, Fosu-Mensah, Shaw, Sidibe, Tierney
Midfielders: Fred, Herrera, Maddison, Mata, Matic, McTominay, A Pereira, Pogba
Forwards: Lingard, Lozano, Lukaku, Martial, Rashford
Keep: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Willian, Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud
Sell: Willy Caballero, Eduardo, Matt Miazga, Tomas Kalas, Baba Rahman, Emerson Palmieri, Davide Zappacosta, Tiemoué Bakayoko, Mateo Kovacic (end of loan), Marco van Ginkel, Mario Pasalic, Kenedy, Pedro, Michy Batshuayi
Although they have more overseas players than Manchester United, even before you consider those out on loan (some of whom are mentioned above), Chelsea would be easier to fix if push came to shove because they have excellent young club-trained players; just ask Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s supporters.
As well as Loftus-Cheek, who hasn’t started a league game for Chelsea since Guus Hiddink was in charge, Mason Mount is ready for the Premier League and Ethan Ampadu probably is, too – Antonio Conte certainly thought so. Trevoh Chalobah is another with potential, and promoting the excellent Fikayo Tomori would allow Gary Cahill to shuffle off, especially with forgotten man Kurt Zouma having impressed on loan at Everton. Full-back Jay Dasilva would be a domestic alternative to the squad-bloating Emerson Palmieri.
Of course, this is Chelsea. Few, if any, youngsters would be promoted even if the FA did limit their foreign intake. The ruling wouldn’t stop them stockpiling young overseas players and loaning them out before selling them on for a profit, whether or not they arrive early enough to be considered homegrown. Chelsea don’t need to sell Pasalic, Miazga & Co., nor the club-trained likes of Lucas Piazon, when they could send them on loan instead. Tomas Kalas is 25 now and contracted to Chelsea until he’s 28. He seems fine with it.
Goalkeepers: Kepa, Blackman,, Ruddy
Centre-backs: Christensen, Luiz, Rudiger, Tomori, Zouma
Full-backs: Alonso, Azpilicueta, J Dasilva, Vrsaljko
Midfielders: Ampadu, Barkley, T Chalobah, Jorginho, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Mount
Forwards: Abraham, Eze, Giroud, Hazard, Hudson-Odoi, Morata, Willian
Keep: Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Andrew Robertson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Georginio Wijnaldum, Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino
Sell: Simon Mignolet, Loris Karius, Adam Bogdan, Alberto Moreno, Allan, Marko Grujic, Lazar Markovic, Divock Origi
Liverpool are in good shape for any limit on overseas players. They used only 16 of the 17 permitted slots when naming this season’s squad, and at the time that included poor old Loris Karius, who has since been sent to Turkey for two years.
If it seems drastic to suggest letting go of three goalkeepers, having already sold Danny Ward, it also seems wasteful to have one occupying an overseas slot when Alisson is a clear first choice. By January 2021, Kamal Grabara will be 22 and Kai McKenzie-Lyle 23; they could eventually deputise if they gain loan experience first while Simon Mignolet is at the club. The safer bet would be to bring in a reliable homegrown option. Peter Gulacsi, flying at RB Leipzig, has presumably had his fill of Liverpool, but perhaps Asmir Begovic could be persuaded in time to reprise his Chelsea role.
There needn’t be an exodus of first-team players, although the list above could be bolstered by Danny Ings and possibly Nathaniel Clyne, seeing as Fabinho and Joe Gomez are good stand-ins at right-back. One question is whether Liverpool’s talented kids are talented enough: Harry Wilson may be, but the jury’s out on Ben Woodburn, Ryan Kent and Sheyi Ojo.
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Begovic, Grabara
Centre-backs: Gomez, Lovren, Matip, Van Dijk
Full-backs: Alexander-Arnold, Clyne, Robertson, Tagliafico
Midfielders: Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Lallana, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum
Forwards: Firmino, Mané, Salah, Shaqiri, Solanke, Sturridge, Wilson, Brewster
Keep: Bernd Leno, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Sead Kolasinac, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette
Sell: Petr Cech, David Ospina, Nacho Monreal, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Takumo Asano
Buy: Freddie Woodman, Reece James, Raphael Guerreiro*, Tom Davies, Ademola Lookman
Arsenal would be in decent shape if the FA’s Brexapocalypse happened tomorrow, but it’s slated to be in 2021 if at all, by which time Matteo Guendouzi and Konstantinos Mavropanos will no longer be under-21s. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are several candidates to leave, from the declining (Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nacho Monreal) to the already-declined (Petr Cech, Stephan Lichtsteiner).
There’s also a domestic axe to swing. Calum Chambers is arguably underrated and unarguably a Premier League player, but he seemingly isn’t an Arsenal player. Carl Jenkinson never should’ve been. Danny Welbeck’s latest injury could be the end of him – figuratively, anyway. Aaron Ramsey is halfway out of the door.
Everton’s 20-year-old Tom Davies would be suited to Ramsey’s get-ball-turn-on-ball-run-with-ball role whenever Arsenal need that option. Hector Bellerin has the right-back slot held down, so this could be the time to invest in 18-year-old Reece James, a European Under-19 Championship winner with England who is impressing on loan in the Championship and may soon realise that Chelsea rarely put faith in their academy products. Or, seeing as they should buy Ademola Lookman anyway, Arsenal could ask Everton to throw in Jonjoe Kenny as well. No? Suit yourselves. At left-back, Raphael Guerreiro would be an excellent upgrade and another option in midfield.
The goalkeeping situation is, again, awkward: Emiliano Martinez possibly merits promotion from third-choice to second-choice, but he and Matt Macey are 26 and 24 respectively and must surely be ending their big-club apprenticeships soon. Freddie Woodman, 21, is highly-rated but unused at Newcastle; he could be tempted by the promise of learning from the best, playing some games in Europe and pushing for the No.1 jersey in a couple of years’ time.
Goalkeepers: Leno, Martinez, Woodman
Centre-backs: Holding, Koscielny, Mavropanos, Mustafi, Papastathopoulos
Full-backs: Bellerin, Guerreiro, James, Kolasinac
Midfielders: Davies, Guendouzi, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil
Forwards: Aubameyang, Iwobi, Lacazette, Lookman, Nelson, Nketiah, Smith Rowe
Keep: Paulo Gazzaniga, Davinson Sanchez, Juan Foyth, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Serge Aurier, Victor Wanyama, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura
Sell: Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele, Moussa Sissoko, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Fernando Llorente, Vincent Janssen
Hear us out. Hugo Lloris, captain, has served Spurs well since replacing Brad Friedel (it was that long ago). But his performance levels are dipping, his errors increasing – and then there’s the other thing. With Paulo Gazzaniga taking every opportunity he’s given, and RB Leipzig’s Peter Gulacsi a homegrown candidate worth considering, cash-poor Spurs could sell Lloris sooner rather than later.
And they would have work to do in a limited-foreigners scenario. That’s not a description of Moussa Sissoko, though his performance against Chelsea did belie his previous… well, career. He’d be one candidate to leave as Spurs are at the current limit of 17 overseas players, which doesn’t include Vincent Janssen, nor Juan Foyth, who’ll be a senior squad member in 2020.
Fortunately there’s detritus to sieve out – including Janssen. He and Fernando Llorente have shown Tottenham’s struggle to find a striker who can do Harry Kane’s job without expecting regular football, as leading the line with Lucas Moura or Son Heung-min can work but necessitates a tactical change. Raul Jimenez, expert at bringing others into play, could be one to chase.
Restructuring the midfield is a looming issue, assuming Spurs lose at least two of Sissoko, the injury-ravaged Victor Wanyama and the tragically-fading Mousa Dembele. The academy has talented midfielders in the making but they won’t all follow Harry Winks into first-team contention.
Two homegrown defensive midfielders worth a look are Declan Rice and Philip Billing, who’d be ripe for improvement under Mauricio Pochettino. Rice covers two positions, which could even tempt Spurs to sell Eric Dier, who has stalled somewhat and doesn’t meet the homegrown criteria.
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That leaves space for one more overseas player. Spurs fans will tell you that Danny Rose and Ben Davies aren’t up to scratch; why not sell one and put the funds towards buying Hertha Berlin’s Marvin Plattenhardt? It’d make more sense than blowing the club’s budget on long-term target Jack Grealish, who’s excellent – but in the one position Spurs are well stocked.
Goalkeepers: Gazzaniga, Gulacsi, Whiteman
Centre-backs: Alderweireld, Carter-Vickers, Foyth, Sanchez, Vertonghen,
Full-backs: Aurier, Davies, Plattenhardt, Trippier, Walker-Peters
Midfielders: Amos, Billing, Dele, Oakley-Boothe, Onomah, Rice, Skipp, Wanyama, Winks
Forwards: Eriksen, Jimenez, Kane, Lamela, Lucas, Son