Which team would be most affected by this homegrown player proposal?

Would Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City or Tottenham be hardest hit by potential FA regulations?

Greg Dyke and the FA Commission are setting out to increase the number of homegrown players playing regularly for the top clubs in the Premier League.

Whilst there have been no suggestion so far as to what this will constitute, here's one from me: five British (yes, Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish too) players in each starting XI.

Of course, the persistent murmuring of a 'European Super League' would only grow stronger if big spenders like Chelsea and Manchester City were restricted in the transfer market, but which of the big clubs would be affected most?


Arsene Wenger's side wouldn't be struggling too badly under this proposal. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are currently out injured, but Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have featured heavily this season. This would also serve as a great opportunity for a player like Carl Jenkinson – Bacary Sagna's contract is set to expire this summer, and Jenkinson would be giving the chance to stake a claim to fill the void. Other youngsters like Benik Afobe and Isaac Hayden could also be given greater roles in the squad as a result.


Chelsea would find it difficult with their current squad. Whilst Gary Cahill, John Terry and Ashley Cole could form three quarters of their back four, there is a dearth of British talent in the rest of the team. Frank Lampard is coming to the end of his career and surely won't be at Stamford Bridge much longer, whilst even the younger players are predominantly foreign. Ryan Bertrand could operate as a left sided midfielder – as he did in the Champions League final in 2012 – whilst the promising Nathaniel Chalobah would be recalled from Nottingham Forest. Regardless, Chelsea would need to spend their masses of money on British talent in this scenario.


The last time the Anfield club spent big on British talent, it didn't really work so well. Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson were bough for a combined fee of around £75m, and whilst Henderson has impressed of late, Downing and Carroll were disasters. Since then, we've seen Brendan Rodgers use a number of young British players, such as Andre Wisdom, Raheem Sterling and Martin Kelly, in addition to household names like Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen. The Reds may not be damaged too much here, particularly if defender Tiago Ilori chooses to play for England.

Manchester City

Manager Manuel Pellegrini has come under fire for abandoning British players – particularly Engand #1 Joe Hart – and it's hard to find much to shout about at the Etihad here. Joleon Lescott and James Milner are experienced, solid players, whilst Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards have struggled in recent years with form and injury. Most of the squad is foreign, but this is a direct result of the British players either not being good enough, or being overpriced. The foreign market is far cheaper to work in, and whilst City aren't exactly strapped for cash, they still need to be sensible with their money. Even when they signed winger Scott Sinclair, he barely featured and was swiftly shipped out on loan to West Brom, and midfielder Gareth Barry is currently reviving his career with Everton.

Manchester United

Of the sides featured here, United look to be the team least affected. Sir Alex Ferguson invested well in British players before his departure, bringing Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and currently out-of-favour Wilfried Zaha to the club, whilst Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney are key players under David Moyes. Jonny Evans is a dependable backup, and the club has done a great job in promoting Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley from the reserves into the first team. Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Young appear to be on their way out, but youngster Nick Powell is impressing on loan at Wigan.

Tottenham Hotspur

Villas-Boas is another manager who has been criticised for letting British players such as Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone and Steven Caulker leave in the summer, but it's barely been mentioned that AVB has got more out of Andros Townsend than Harry Redknapp ever did. Kyle Walker and Michael Dawson are key players in the back four, whilst full backs Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton play important squad roles under Villas-Boas, and Jermain Defoe is still an option off the bench. Most of their Brits play peripheral roles, but there are high hopes for youngsters Harry Kane and Tom Carroll.

The short term ramifications of this proposal would almost certainly hamper the European ambitions of these teams as they are forced to cut back on foreign players, the long term effects could seriously aid the national team, with younger players given more chances to nail down starting roles.

Would you back such a proposal? If not, what would you suggest?

image: © philosophyfootball

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