After the drama of transfer deadline day the obligation of Premier League clubs to name a 25-man squad, which cannot include more than 17 overseas players passed by virtually unnoticed yesterday. Managers such as Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger labelled the new regulations as “ridiculous,” arguing that it will harm those who have to play games in European competitions. But with Arsenal’s staggering number of under-21 players who are not subject to the new restrictions, they boast a squad of 70. For all the scare mongering and dire predictions, prominent players including Owen Hargreaves and Roque Santa Cruz did make their respective squad lists. Whether through injury, inexperience or poor form below is a list of those who will be ineligible to play PL football at least until January.
News reports have inferred that the last minute arrival of Rafael van der Vaart at White Hart Lane squeezed Woodgate out of Spurs’ 25-man squad. The 29-year old defender has been plagued by a persistent groin problem. Having not played since last November it is believed that one last ditch attempt at surgery may provide a cure. Harry Redknapp has said, “It’s so sad for Jonathan. He’s such a good player and a great lad as well.”
Woodgate’s colleague at Tottenham, Alnwick has additionally been left out of their squad. The 23-year old goalkeeper who joined from Sunderland in 2007 made his PL debut on the final day of last season at Turf Moor. Although categorised as a senior home-grown player his place was effectively made redundant after Stipe Pletikosa joined on loan from Spartak Moscow.
Another young English goalkeeper who has been omitted from a PL squad is West Brom’s Daniels. The keeper has suffered from a back injury which scuppered his proposed loan spell at Bristol Rovers. He is expected to recover in the coming months but would have faced stiff competition from Scott Carson, Boaz Myhill and Dean Kiely. Daniels will be hopeful of a chance to feature in the Carling Cup of for the Baggies reserve team.
A slightly more surprising omission at the west Midlands clubs is that of striker Luke Moore. The 24-year old who cost the club £3.5 million from Aston Villa in 2008 has been deemed surplus to requirements. The forward who once won the FA Youth Cup at his former club is expected to seek a loan switch to a Championship side.
The 24-year old winger has not featured for Wolves since last November having suffered a patella tendon injury. He has faced further set-backs in his rehabilitation and is being tipped to go out on loan once he returns to fitness. The midfielder who scored 8 times during the club’s promotion winning season has been earmarked for a return to their PL squad in January.
The burly striker’s season and hopes of making Stoke City’s squad were cruelly dashed after he snapped his Achilles tendon during the home defeat to Tottenham. Stoke boss Tony Pulis has claimed that the Mali international may be back sooner than first thought but the Welshman and Peter Coates have been industrious in the transfer window. The club signed four players on transfer deadline day including former Barcelona forward, Eidur Gudjohnson and Jermaine Pennant.