A Citizen Abroad ; City are looking at a huge Home Grown problem

With the mass exodus of home grown players this week, and Manchester City’s failure to sign any home grown players that have panned out in the last few years, the club find themselves in a very dangerous position.




Before we dive too far into the Citizen’s squad and who is or isn’t home grown, I think it is vital that we all understand what exactly qualifies a player to be home grown under FA and UEFA rules. So to start, we’ll do a primer on the squad rules for the Premier League and the Champions. Get your note pads out kids.

First, the Premier League.

  1. Each team can only register 25 players over the age of 21.
  2. No more than 17 of those players can be non-HG. So basically you need at least 8 HG players to carry a full 25 of over-21’s.
  3. A HG player, as defined by the Premier League is, “a player who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or Welsh Football Association for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).”
  4. Under 21 players do not have to be registered, as they do not count against the 25 player roster.

For the Champions League, the rules are essentially the same. The only difference is that the age range that a player has to be trained in country is 15 – 21.

Three first team players remain at the club that count as Home Grown under these rules. Those players are: Joe Hart, Richard Wright, and Gael Clichy. It is worth noting that Richard Wright has not made a first team appearance in the 3 years that he has been at Manchester City. Wright is essentially there only to meet the quota, which is a spot wasted in my opinion. It is necessary, but it says a lot about our recent transfer policy.

City already have 17 non-HG players at the club. This means that City will either have to buy/promote 5 HG players this summer, or name a reduced squad come next season. Luckily, there will be a few players returning from loan that could be promoted to fill these HG spots, but not enough to fill every spot.

Players returning from loan this summer include:

  1. Karim Rekik, 20 (Home Grown)
  2. Marcos Lopes, 19 (Home Grown)
  3. Seko Fofana, 20 (Not HG yet)
  4. Jason Denayer, 19 (Not HG yet)
  5. Bruno Zuculini, 22 (Not HG)

Just because some of these players are not HG does not mean that we can’t use them. In order for Zuculini to play, however, someone would have to be sold to open up a spot. In the case of Fofana or Denayer, they would not need to be registered because they are under 21. Personally, I think both Fofana and Denayer will be loaned out for one more season so that they can get meaningful minutes in a top league.

So, hypothetically, let’s say that Rekik and Lopes stay at the club and are registered as part of the 25 man squad. We will still need 3 more HG players to either be purchased or promoted from the Elite Development Squad. Because I’m sick in the head, I have compiled a list of players that would all qualify as Home Grown that I believe are realistic targets, and one dream target. The list is in no particular order, and the majority are not backed by any rumors. Every player on the list does fill a need that I currently see at the club.

Player Name, Position, Age Current Club
Raheem Sterling, Wing/Attacking Mid, 20 Liverpool
Ross Barkley, CM/Attacking Mid, 21 Everton
Will Hughes, CM, 20 Derby County
John Stones, CB, 21 Everton
Nathaniel Clyne, RB, 24 Southampton
Kieran Trippier, RB, 24 Burnley
Charlie Austin, ST, 25 QPR
Fabian Delph, CM, 25 Aston Villa
Jack Grealish, Winger, 19 Aston Villa
James Ward-Prowse, CM, 20 Southampton
James McCarthy, CDM, 24 Everton
Danny Rose, LB, 24 Tottenham
Eric Dier, CB/sometime RB, 21 Tottenham
Aaron Cresswell, LB, 25 West Ham
Gareth Bale, Winger, 25 Real Madrid (This is the farfetched one)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Winger, 21 Arsenal
Theo Walcott, Winger/ST, 26 Arsenal
Andrew Robertson, LB, 21 Hull


No matter how you look at it, City have their work cut out for them this summer. I believe that Txiki, Vieira, and Pellegrini have spent plenty of time mulling things over. I just wonder who Txiki will be buying for, Pellegrini or his successor. This summer will be fascinating, and pivotal for the future of our club. Grab a pint, put your scarf on, and let’s see what the club have in store for us.

Please share and comment what you think about the post or what you think City should do.

Until next time Blues…

Joey McCune

A Citizen Abroad

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