The big Arsenal transfer news at the moment surrounds Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
As reported by football.london, Serie A side AS Roma, managed by former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho, are in advanced talks over signing the 24-year-old on loan for the remainder of the season.
Furthermore, it’s understood that Mourinho is an admirer of Maitland-Niles and that the versatile midfielder has already spoken with Tammy Abraham who joined the Giallorossi from the Blues last summer.
With the January transfer window officially opening on Saturday (January 1st), it remains to be seen how soon this deal, if it does happen, goes through.
In the scenario that Maitland-Niles does seal a move to Roma next month, how would his exit affect Arsenal in terms of signing a replacement and adhering to the Premier League rules?
Well, the Gunners and the other 19 Premier League teams were permitted to name 25-man squads after the summer transfer window had closed at the beginning of September.
From which no more than 17 overseas players could be named with the remaining eight places available to homegrown members of the squad.
To be considered home-grown, players need to have been registered with any club affiliated to The Football Association or the Welsh FA for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons, or 36 months, before his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).
Of course, Maitland-Niles falls into the homegrown category, taking up one of six places alongside Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding, Benjamin White, Calum Chambers and Aaron Ramsdale.
In fact, Arsenal named a 21-man squad as the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli weren’t required to be named in the 25-man list.
So if Maitland-Niles were to leave at some point next month, Mikel Arteta would be left with a 20-man squad.
But because only 15 are classed as non-homegrown, it means the Gunners can still register two overseas players in the January transfer window as the limit is 17.
Amid links to Renato Sanches, Philippe Coutinho, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mattias Svanberg, Maitland-Niles’ potential move to Roma won’t impact Arsenal’s plans, if they have any, to sign at least one of the aforementioned quartet.
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Interestingly the Gunners have had registration problems, as recently as last season, due to the size of their squad.
Firstly Arteta was forced to exclude Mesut Ozil and Sokratis from his Premier League and Europa League squads for the 2020/21 campaign and the pair ended up leaving in the winter transfer window just over a year ago.
Meanwhile, Martin Odegaard – who arrived on loan from Real Madrid – was only able to take the remaining non-homegrown spot in the Premier League squad after Shkodran Mustafi joined Schalke.
Fast forward a few months and Arsenal have already avoided a situation with regards to another high-profile squad omission as Coutinho, for example, can be registered in the Premier League squad if he was to sign in January, regardless of what happens with Maitland-Niles and Roma.
Source by Football London