Arsenal include first-team outcasts in Premier League squad
New signings give Arsene Wenger less flexibility over non-homegrown stars
Arsenal have released their squad list for the remainder of the 2011-12 Premier League season, and it reveals the impact Arsene Wenger’s summer transfer activity has had at the club.
The Gunners have named a list of just 22 players, which was the same number as London rivals Chelsea, although in Arsenal’s case there are mitigating circumstances in that a large number of first-team squad players are under 21 years of age, and therefore do not need to be included on the main list.
However six new arrivals – Gervinho, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Chu-young Park – have bloated the list of non-homegrown players over the age of 21, up to the maximum of 17.
Added to that, the departures of players who counted as homegrown, such as Cesc Fabregas, Nicklas Bendtner, Gael Clichy and Armand Traore have further reduced the number of foreign players Arsenal can have in their squad.
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Nobody has been omitted, however, and Wenger can call on at least five players from his under-21 list – Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny, Aaron Ramsey, Carl Jenkinson and Emmanuel Frimpong – with first-team experience. Meanwhile others such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ignasi Miquel and Francis Coquelin have already figured in the Premier League, and Japanese star Ryo Miyaichi will expect to be involved soon.
Perhaps the only real surprise is that outcasts Manuel Almunia and Sebastien Squillaci are on the non-homegrown list, despite both having slipped out of the first-team reckoning.
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Keeper Almunia, 34, is out of contract at the end of the season while centre-back Squillaci, 31, has a deal that runs to 2013 but has fallen down the pecking order following the arrival of Germany international Per Mertesacker.
Mertesacker will wear the No4 shirt at Arsenal next season, vacated by captain Cesc Fabregas, while Arteta will wear Samir Nasri’s No8, Santos the No11, Chu-Young Park the No9 shirt and Benayoun will take No30.
Homegrown players: Johan Djourou, Kieran Gibbs, Vito Mannone, Alex Song, Theo Walcott.
Non-homegrown players: Manuel Almunia, Andrey Arshavin, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Marouane Chamakh, Abou Diaby, Lukasz Fabianski, Gervinho, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Chu Young Park, Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna, Andre Santos, Sebastien Squillaci, Robin van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen.
Under-21 players: Benik Afobe, Chuks Aneke, Martin Angha, Zak Ansah, Kyle Bartley, Daniel Boateng, George Brislen-Hall, Francis Coquelin, Craig Eastmond, Kyle Ebecilio, Luke Freeman, Emmanuel Frimpong, Sead Hajrovic, Conor Henderson, Gavin Hoyte, Carl Jenkinson, Henri Lansbury, Damian Martinez, Ignasi Miquel, Ryo, Rhys Murphy, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Oguzhan Ozyakup, Aaron Ramsey, Wojciech Szczesny, Sanchez Watt, Jack Wilshere, Jordan Wynter, Nico Yennaris.
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