How Home Grown are we?

Author: . Published: at 10:21pm

Written by @samizgould

In the next few months of the transfer window you are very likely to hear time and again the term Home-Grown Quota used about the West Ham squad. The Academy of Football, has grown a reputation and pride for bringing through the best young local talents to the Premier League and National teams and of course we all know who won the world cup don’t we. But currently we facing an issue where we don’t have the required number of “Home Grown Players” to meet the quota required by the Premier League.

So, what is the quota? You may know each club can register up to 25 players each season. Of those 25 players at least 8 must be home grown meaning trained in England for at least three years between 16 years old and 21 years old, with a maximum of 17 foreign players registered no matter their nation. For every player that you are short of that 8-player quota you lose a place to register a player. This past season we had 7 players who were home grown eligible and as a result we only registered 24 players for our squad. Pellegrini has a history of this, choosing foreign players instead of locals. At Man City he often had 23 or less players in his squad.

As it stands with recent transfers we have 23 players who are likely to be registered for the 2019/20 squad but only 6 of those are home grown:

1. Fabianski
2. Roberto – New
3. David Martin New HG
4. Diop
5. Balbuena
6. Reid
7. Ogbonna
8. Creswell – HG
9. Masuaku
10. Zabaleta
11. Fredericks -HG
12. Sanchez
13. Obiang
14. Noble -HG
15. Wilshere -HG
16. Lanzini
17. Felipe Anderson
18. Antonio – HG
19. Snodgrass
20. Yarmolenko
21. Arnautovic
22. Javier Hernandez
23. Xande Silva

Green – Home-Grown
Blue – New signing

Why are Rice, Diangana and the other academy graduates are not included in the squad surely, they would make up the numbers easily? Unfortunately, because none of these players turned 21 before January 1st this year none of them can be included in the registered squad for the upcoming season. Of course, any player under 21 can still play as many games as the manager wants them to but they will not count towards the quota. Xande Silva may be a surprise inclusion on the list but even though he doesn’t count as towards the local numbers we are in-need of strikers. So, if other teams have played with 23 or less layers why should we worry? Well in a word Brexit… there are changes coming fast to the Premier League and we’ll need every local player we can get.

With two squad places left and two home gown players required it seems easy to just go and get two English trained players and be done with it. But this season our limited transfer budget may have us more hamstrung than we’d like. Local players are more expensive with average quality players going for huge prices. We need better quality players than we have to move forward and that’s not cheap especially when we need strikers. With Obiang and Chicharito are likely to leave, perhaps a couple of others too, 30 million plus sales makes finding the right players even tougher.
This helps explain the recent David Martin signing. A cheap local player on small wages who has a passion and connection for the club who will rarely play and work closely with the younger players to help them improve
The only other Home-Grown players that we currently have on the books at the club have all been out on loan this season. Will they make the final team?
– Josh Cullen is now 23 and after a strong season in League One is desperate to prove his ability and take the chance to be included in the 25-man squad.
– Marcus Browne was also having a positive season in League One and at 21 he too can be considered for a place.
– Martin Samuelsen is the final player and perhaps least likely to make the cut as his regular loan moves haven’t amounted to much. He currently plays for his hometown club in Norway and would be a surprise inclusion.
You can add Sam Byram, Jordan Hugill to the list but their futures are widely considered elsewhere.
Watching the transfer moves this summer for the likes of Hayden, Shelvey, Che Adams and others will be fascinating as the club struggle with affording better-quality players while meeting their requirements with the future in mind.