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Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Friday, 13 August 2010 12:10 UK

Premier League squads under scrutiny

Joe Cole, Didier Drogba, Gareth Bale, Dimitar Berbatov
Juggling squad limits and home-grown quotas has tested clubs this summer

By Sam Lyon

Arsene Wenger has described it as a "disastrous" decision, while Wayne Rooney sees it as "welcome and important".

But whether players and managers like it or not, the Premier League's new rules on squad limits and home-grown quotas come in to effect this season, and their impact on the summer's transfer activity has already been marked.

From 1 September, teams must name a 25-man squad containing at least eight 'home-grown' players, with any number of under-21s, regardless of their nationality, allowed to supplement that squad.

A player is regarded as home-grown if he has spent 36 months or more with a club associated with the English or Welsh FA before his 21st birthday - or the end of the season during which he turns 21.

The rules have left a whole host of clubs, most notably the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, facing a fine balancing act in the coming weeks.

Here, BBC Sport examines where your club stands as the squad deadline nears.

*Key: NH = Non-home-grown players. HG = Home-grown players.

(Figures and squad lists correct as of 1200 BST on Friday 13 August)

Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas qualifies as a home-grown player under Premier League rules

Much has been written about the make-up of Arsenal's squad ever since they became the first side in the Premier League to field an XI made up entirely of foreign players in the 2004-05 season.

This campaign, the Gunners squad reads as something of a paradox.

The future of the England team arguably lays in the hands of their under-21 stars like Theo Walcott, Kieron Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong - and yet not one of their senior players qualifies for the England team.

Even so, their policy of snapping up promising youngsters from abroad means they are able to boast seven senior players regarded as home-grown - and with a feast of young talent supplementing them, boss Arsene Wenger will hope to have a host of options through the season.

Still, though, there could be work to do for the Frenchman in the coming weeks.

Keeping World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas was always going to be Arsenal's biggest bit of business this summer, and in frustrating Barcelona's attempts to prise their captain away the Gunners have kept alive hopes of securing a first piece of silverware for five years.

But despite the arrivals of Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny, a lack of experience in the squad remains, especially following the departures of Sol Campbell and William Gallas.

And with Manuel Almunia yet to convince between the sticks, expect Wenger to dip into the market should any bargains become available.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Manuel Almunia, Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue, Lukas Fabianski, Laurent Koscielny, Samir Nasri, Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna, Robin Van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen.


SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Nicklas Bendtner, Gael Clichy, Denilson, Johan Djourou, Cesc Fabregas, Vito Mannone, Alex Song.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Emmanuel Frimpong, Kieron Gibbs, Aaron Ramsay, Wojciech Szczesny, Armand Traore, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Carlos Vela.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Brede Hangeland, Phillipe Mexes, Mark Schwarzer.

VERDICT: One or two additions would be ideal.

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Stewart Downing
Downing swells Aston Villa's impressive list of home-grown stars

While all eyes this summer have been on the James Milner will-he-won't-he saga, Aston Villa fans could be forgiven if they had not foreseen an even more devastating loss - the departure of manager Martin O'Neill.

While the reasons behind O'Neill's resignation on Monday have not yet come to light, one can guess that the club's transfer policy will have at least been part of the Northern Irishman's reasoning.

Milner's departure for Manchester City has been on the cards for a while.

But with rumours now circulating that Villa are also considering the sale of one or two other players following two seasons of heavy spending by owner Randy Lerner, the mood at the club is suddenly a black one ahead of the new campaign.

O'Neill's legacy will be a squad brimming with home-grown talent. When it comes to buying English, nobody did it better - or at least as often - as the 58-year-old, with 30 of his 50 signings at Villa having been home-grown.

Now, though, the biggest concerns facing Villa are off the field - and should Milner head a few exits at Villa Park, as expected, the club faces a race against time to cover for their sales.

A new manager to appoint and buys, sales and loans to negotiate - Lerner faces an especially busy few weeks.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Habib Beye, Carlos Cuellar, John Carew, Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, Stiliyan Petrov, Moustapha Salifou.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Gabriel Agbonlahor, James Collins, Curtis Davies, Stewart Downing, Richard Dunne, Emile Heskey, James Milner, Isaiah Osbourne, Nigel Reo-Coker, Steve Sidwell, Stephen Warnock, Ashley Young, Luke Young.


SELECTED UNDER-21s: Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Delfouneso, Fabian Delph, Jonathan Hogg, Eric Lichaj, Andreas Weimann.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: David Bentley, Robbie Keane, Stephen Ireland.

VERDICT: All set for a late-window rush.

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Ben Foster
Foster will be hoping to further his England claims at Birmingham

Just like their local rivals Aston Villa, Birmingham City are strong supporters of the notion that British is best in the Premier League.

The arrival of keeper Ben Foster from Manchester United boosts an already impressive contingent of home-grown talent, with 16 players who fulfil the criteria on the City books.

And with just five working under 'foreign' status, new frontman Nikola Zigic might do well to master his English before too long if he is to be understood at St Andrews - he will be one of only two players in the dressing room whose native tongue is not English.

If the Blues are lacking anywhere, it is in the under-21 stakes, though new arrival Enric Valles impressed on their recent tour of China and could well make the most of his 'freebie' status within the ranks this season.


NON-HOME-GROWN: Barry Ferguson, James McFadden, Michel, Garry O'Connor, Nikola Zigic.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Marcus Bent, Lee Bowyer, Steve Carr, Scott Dann, Colin Doyle, Keith Fahey, Ben Foster, Craig Gardner, Cameron Jerome, Roger Johnson, Sebastian Larsson, David Murphy, Stuart Parnaby, Kevin Phillips, Liam Ridgewell, Maik Taylor.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Fraser Kerr, Jordon Mutch, James O'Shea, Nathan Redmond. Enric Valles.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Mauro Camoranesi, William Gallas, Fabio Grosso.

VERDICT: Strong, solid and settled.

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Nikola Kalinic
Kalinic will hope to build on last term's introduction to English football

For a man once so keen to take over the England manager's job, Sam Allardyce has come to count surprisingly heavily on non-home-grown talent during his time at Rovers.

A collection of 13 foreign stars was made 15 with the arrival of defender Hugo Fernandez from Union Deportiva Cornella for a nominal fee and Mame Diouf on loan from Manchester United.

But Allardyce is able to call upon a healthy collection of senior home-grown players, with the likes of Keith Andrews, David Dunn and Paul Robinson again likely to form the spine of the starting XI.

And with a few decent prospects among their collection of under-21 players - David Hoilett, Phil Jones and Steven Nzonzi are all hotly tipped - Allardyce will again be hopeful his side can cause a few surprises this campaign.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Pascal Chimbonda, El Hadji Diouf, Mame Diouf, Brett Emerton, Hugo Fernandez, Gael Givet, Vince Grella, Lars Jacobsen, Nikola Kalinic, Zurab Khizanishvili, Ryan Nelsen, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Maceo Rigters, Michel Salgado, Christopher Samba.


SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Keith Andrews, Jason Brown, Mark Bunn, David Dunn, Frank Fielding, Martin Olsson, Jason Roberts, Paul Robinson.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Aaron Doran, Gavin Gunning, Grant Hanley, David Hoilett, Phil Jones, Alan Judge, Amine Linganzi, Steven Nzonzi.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: James Beattie, Aruna Dindane, Jo.

VERDICT: Room for manoeuvre late in the window.

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Jason Euell
Euell will captain Blackpool on their Premier League debut

Up until Wednesday, 11 August, Blackpool were facing a dilemma this season.

As if the Premier League new-boys didn't have enough on their plate as they prepare to step up into the unknown for the first time, boss Ian Holloway was facing the prospect of being able to name just 15 senior players in his squad.

And then came a whirlwind of transfer activity, the Seasiders snapping up five players in one day.

In came Marlon Harewood, Craig Cathcart and French trio Ludovic Sylvestre, Elliot Grandin and Malaury Martin, adding much-needed depth to a squad that had only previously been boosted by the early-summer signing of Israel's international defender Dekel Keinan.

Holloway does not look to be finished yet either, with Bolton's Chris Basham looking his next target.

Either way, though, it might need more than a few relative unknowns to come in to enable Blackpool fans to argue forcefully against their status as relegation favourites. But at least Seasiders fans won't have to worry about their team falling foul of the new rules.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Charlie Adam, Stephen Crainey, Elliott Grandin, Dekel Keinan, Ludovic Sylvestre.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Alex Baptiste, Billy Clarke, Danny Coid, Rob Edwards, Jason Euell, Ian Evatt, Matthew Gilks, Marlon Harewood, Brett Ormerod, Paul Rachubka, Keith Southern, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, David Vaughan.


SELECTED UNDER-21s: Louis Almond, Craig Cathcart, Ishmel Demontagnac, Neal Eardley, Ashley Eastham, Mark Halstead, Stephen Husband, Malaury Martin.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Chris Basham, DJ Campbell, Francis Jeffers.

VERDICT: Further additions are simply essential.

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Jussi Jaaskelainen
Jaaskelainen will be entering into his 14th season with Bolton

Owen Coyle may have swapped Burnley for Bolton last season in the belief that the latter were better placed for future success, but whether the Trotters are built for anything other than another battle against the drop this season remains to be seen.

Coyle's footballing ethos certainly led to a more entertaining Bolton at times towards the end of the last campaign, but does he have it in him to repeat the relative halcyon days Sam Allardyce enjoyed in 2006 and 2007 when the Wanderers finished eighth and seventh?

The loss of Jack Wilshere - impressive on loan from Arsenal last season - will not help, but the addition of classy full-back Marcos Alonso from Real Madrid and veteran pair Robbie Blake and Martin Petrov certainly add a touch of gloss to the squad.

And a healthy pool of home-grown players should ensure Bolton remain hard to beat, a particular strength of theirs over the years.

Their budget might not be the biggest, but with loan deals abounding this campaign, Coyle could still look to do some business in the next few weeks.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Marcos Alonso, Adam Bogdan, Lee Chung-Yong, Tamir Cohen, Johan Elmander, Ricardo Gardner, Stuart Holden, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Ivan Klasnic, Martin Petrov, Mustapha Riga, Gretar Steinsson.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Chris Basham, Robbie Blake, Gary Cahill, Kevin Davies, Mark Davies, Sean Davis, Zat Knight, Fabrice Muamba, Andy O'Brien, Joey O'Brien, Paul Robinson, Sam Ricketts, J'Lloyd Samuel, Danny Shittu, Matt Taylor.


SELECTED UNDER-21s: Temitope Abadeyi, Rob Lainton, Dan Ward.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Tom Cleverley, Chris Eagles, Franco di Santo.

VERDICT: Solid foundations.

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Yossi Benayoun
Benayoun arrives at Chelsea effectively as Joe Cole's replacement

Long before Manchester City's ultra-rich owners were throwing money around like confetti, Chelsea supremo Roman Abramovich was the financial heavyweight envied throughout the Premier League.

And while the Russian may have reined in his spending a touch in recent years, the Premier League champions' squad is testament to the power of the pound when dished out in the right areas.

As might be expected, the west Londoners' non-home-grown contingent is a large one.

Yossi Benayoun's arrival from Liverpool took the number to 15, which in turn will become 16 once the Brazilian Ramires finalises his move from Benfica. Had it not been for the release of overseas quartet Michael Ballack, Juliano Belletti, Deco and Ricardo Carlvaho - that number would have verged on the impossible-to-manage.

The benefits of losing Joe Cole on a free transfer are less easy to identify when one considers Chelsea are left with just five senior home-grown players. Of those, only Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry are recognised first-teamers.

Still, having pledged in 2008 to be self-sufficient by this campaign, Chelsea can at least be buoyed by the quality of their under-21 talent, with the likes of Fabio Borini, Franco di Santo, Gael Kakuta, Josh McEachran and Daniel Sturridge all tipped to push for places in the first-team squad this season.

With a Premier League crown to defend, and that ever-elusive Champions League glory still high on the club's list of targets, few would bet against a late dip into the market from the Blues.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Alex, Nicolas Anelka, Yossi Benayoun, Jose Bosingwa, Petr Cech, Dider Drogba, Michael Essien, Paulo Ferreira, Henrique Hilario, Branislav Ivanovic, Salomon Kalou, Florent Malouda, Nemanja Matic, Jon Obi Mikel, Yury Zhirkov.


SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Michael Mancienne, John Terry, Ross Turnbull.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Fabio Borini, Franco di Santo, Gael Kakuta, Tomas Kalas, Josh McEachran, Daniel Sturridge.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Kaka, David Luiz, Ramires.

VERDICT: Strong case for the defence.

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Mikel Arteta
Arteta signed a new five-year contract at Everton this summer

In keeping with a window that has seen only Manchester City really splash the cash, the biggest and best part of Everton's work this summer has been spent hanging on to their better players.

Midfield playmaker Mikel Arteta, South Africa international Stephen Pienaar and Phil Jagielka have all been linked with moves, but with three weeks until the close of the summer transfer window all three remain at Goodison Park.

Three other factors weigh in Everton's favour this term: several good signings including Jermaine Beckford from Leeds; the progression of an impressive collection of youngsters such as Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman; and the hope that last season's injury problems - which at one point or another struck down the likes of Victor Anichebe, Arteta, Tim Cahill, Jagielka and Yakubu - are behind them.

Even the farcical departure of Dan Gosling to Newcastle on a free transfer has failed to quell the optimism of David Moyes's side.

A solid balance of home-grown and non-home-grown players also ensures Moyes has space to breathe should the chance arise in the transfer market.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Mikel Arteta, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Sylvain Distin, Marouane Fellaini, John Heitinga, Tim Howard, Jan Mucha, Steven Pienaar, Louis Saha, Ayegbeni Yakubu, Joseph Yobo.


SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Victor Anichebe, Leighton Baines, Jermaine Beckford, Tim Cahill, Tony Hibbert, Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville, Leon Osman, Iain Turner, James Vaughan.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Kieran Agard, Jose Baxter, Seamas Coleman, Shane Duffy, Magaye Gueye, Jack Rodwell, Joao Silva, James Wallace.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Stephen Ireland, Nedum Onuoha, Robbie Keane.

VERDICT: The kids are all right.

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Andy Johnson
Johnson's return from injury will provide Fulham with a big boost

With much of the summer spent searching for a successor to Roy Hodgson following his departure to Liverpool, there has been little opportunity for Fulham to make too many changes to their squad ahead of the new campaign.

Still, while former Spurs boss and current Ajax manager Martin Jol may have turned down the opportunity to manage in London once again, in Mark Hughes few would argue the Cottagers have not managed to secure a top-level coaching appointment.

How the Welshman can improve on last season, when Fulham caught the attention of the nation with their sensational run to the Europa League final, however, is a trickier case to argue.

The early-summer arrivals of Jonathan Greening and Philippe Senderos have a solid but unspectacular look about them, and with rumours continuing to surround keeper Mark Schwarzer's Fulham future, Hughes may have work to do in the next few weeks.


Still, there are few concerns here about home-grown quotas and squad limits, even if as it stands one of the Cottagers' fringe senior players is set to miss out.

Andy Johnson's return from injury will also be a huge boost as Hughes gets his feet under the table.

FOREIGN: Clint Dempsey, Kagisho Dikgacoi, David Elm, Zoltan Gera, Brede Hangeland, Eddie Johnson, Diomansy Kamara, John Pantsil, Bjorn Helge Riise, Mark Schwartzer, Fredrik Storr, Pascal Zuberbuhler.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Chris Baird, Simon Davies, Damien Duff, Dickson Etuhu, Jonathan Greening, Aaron Hughes, Stephen Kelly, Paul Konchesky, Andy Johnson, Robert Milsom, Danny Murphy, Philippe Senderos, David Stockdale, Bobby Zamora.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Matthew Briggs, Neil Etheridge, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Matthew Saunders, Alex Smith.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Curtis Davies, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Steve Sidwell.

VERDICT: Looking to push on.

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Joe Cole
Cole is one of just four senior home-grown players at Liverpool

Tasked with regenerating Liverpool's fortunes following a disappointing last campaign, new manager Roy Hodgson's immediate task fell into two areas - convincing his best players to stay, and swelling the Anfield club's short supply of home-grown players.

He started with a bang on both fronts, bringing England international Joe Cole into the club on a free and then persuading Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to commit their immediate futures to the club.

However, Hodgson is still left with a squad top-heavy with foreign players.

Former Charlton star Jonjo Shelvey, while English, is a 'freebie' as he is under-21, while Hodgson's attempts to bring Luke Young to the club failed.

The re-signing of Fabio Aurelio and captures of Danny Wilson from Rangers and Christian Poulsen from Juventus only buoy an already large foreign contingent too - though Javier Mascherano looks set to leave for Inter Milan.

A total of just six senior home-grown players tells its own tale of previous manager Rafael Benitez's transfer policy - though it could at least provoke a spate of promotions from the youth ranks and provide a number of Anfield youngsters with a rare chance to impress.


That is unless one of the hive of interested parties reported to be looking at buying the club proves successful, in which case a late-window transfer rush could ensue.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Daniel Agger, Alberto Aquilani, Fabio Aurelio, Ryan Babel, Diego Cavalieri, Nabil El Zhar, Milan Jovanovic, Dirk Kuyt, Sotiros Kyrgiakos, Lucas, Javier Mascherano, Damien Plessis, Christian Poulsen, Pepe Reina, Maxi Rodriguez, Martin Skrtel, Fernando Torres.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Jamie Carragher, Joe Cole, Stephen Darby, Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Jay Spearing.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Daniel Ayala, Laurie Dalla Valle, Peter Gulacsi, Emiliano Insua, Steven Irwin, Martin Kelly, Krisztian Nemeth, David Ngog, Jonjo Shelvey, Danny Wilson.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Maynor Figueroa, Paul Konchesky, Loic Remy.

VERDICT: In need of some more home comforts.

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Shay Given
Given faces a fight with Joe Hart to start as City's number one keeper

Far and away the country's biggest spenders this summer, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has thus far neglected to trim his first-team numbers.

A staggering 15 players may have left the club this summer, but not one of those could lay claim to a regular starting place during their time at City, and either way their departures have been offset by the arrivals of the likes of Jerome Boateng, Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva and Yaya Toure.

Inevitably, that means City have a squad bursting with talent, but also one bursting at the seams.

Sooner or later, Mancini will have to bite the bullet in the knowledge that 29 into 25 simply does not go - and Craig Bellamy has already said publicly he does not expect to be in City's final squad.

That could prompt a firesale of epic proportions at Eastlands, not least with rumours abounding that the Italian has not finished adding to his squad.

James Milner from Aston Villa and Inter Milan's Mario Balottelli are two players widely expected to join the ranks at City, arrivals that would take the number of non-home-grown players at the club to 17 and the squad total to 31.

City have held the key to the transfer market all summer, and even when they have finished bringing players into the club, they will be the Premier League's transfer market king-makers in terms of outgoings.


One thing is for sure, all eyes will be on Manchester City for a good while yet.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Emmanuel Adebayor, Jerome Boateng, Felipe Caicedo, Nigel De Jong, David Gonzales, Jo, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz, David Silva, Carlos Tevez, Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure, Patrick Vieira, Pablo Zabaleta.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Gareth Barry, Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge, Kelvin Etuhu, Shay Given, Joe Hart, Stephen Ireland, Adam Johnson, Michael Johnson, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Stuart Taylor, Shaun Wright-Phillips.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Dedryck Boyata, Greg Cunningham, Alex Henshall, Abdisalam Ibrahim, Shaleum Logan, Alex Nimely, Albert Rusnak, Javan Vidal.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, James Milner.

VERDICT: Full of quality, but will they gel?

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Wayne Rooney
Rooney faces a tall order to match his excellent form of last season

With many predicting this will be the most competitive Premier League season for years, Manchester United's bid to regain the title they have won 11 times in 17 seasons could be their toughest yet.

Defending champions Chelsea, Arsenal and big-spenders Manchester City are the bookies' favourites to challenge United, but even Tottenham and Liverpool have made overtures of launching a title bid in recent weeks.

And yet Sir Alex Ferguson has so far refused to react to such a potential threat by throwing money around in the transfer market.

Three youngsters in Chris Smalling, Javier Hernandez and most recently Bebe have arrived to further boost the production line of talent United have been operating for years, but otherwise Ferguson will once again be relying on his spine of experienced internationals to lead his team through another title charge.

A wealth of home-grown talent combined with a smattering of overseas players will provide the bedrock of United's bid for glory, meaning much may depend on the form of Wayne Rooney and how the likes of veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes hold up through the season.

Still, maybe expect a cheeky late-window dip into the market from one of the league's wiliest operators.


NON-HOME-GROWN: Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov, Patrice Evra, Owen Hargreaves, Javier Hernandez, Tomasz Kuszczak, Nani, Ji-sung Park, Edwin Van der Sar, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Vidic.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Wes Brown, Michael Carrick, Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand, Darren Fletcher, Darron Gibson, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, John O'Shea, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Ben Amos, Bebe, Tom Cleverley, Fabio da Silva, Rafael da Silva, Ritchie De Laet, Corry Evans, Federico Macheda, Gabriel Obertan, Chris Smalling.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil, Stephen Pienaar.

VERDICT: How often does Ferguson get it wrong?

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Jonas Gutierrez
Gutierrez was key to Newcastle's promotion push last season

As big an achievement as it was to get Newcastle back into the Premier League at the first time of asking, keeping them there this season would arguably be an even greater reward for boss Chris Hughton.

His task will be aided by the fact he returns with a host of players with top-flight experience - and he has added to them sagely with the signing of former Tottenham and Arsenal defender Sol Campbell, who once fit again will provide much needed skill and experience at the heart of a defence that is likely to be severely tested this campaign.

Also returning are a trio of overseas players who will feel they have unfinished business in the Premier League. Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique and Jonas Gutierrez may have looked short of quality first time round, but with a good Championship season behind them they will hope to make a much better impression in the coming months.

With no great resources to splash in the transfer market, Hughton was also alert to snap up promising youngster Dan Gosling from Everton, while James Perch arrives from Nottingham Forest to give him options across the back four and midfield.

Boasting the fewest number of overseas players in their squad, too, means Toon fans will have have a feast of home-grown players to cheer on at St James' Park.


NON-HOME-GROWN: Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Jonas Gutierrez, Peter Lovenkrands.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Shola Ameobi, Joey Barton, Leon Best, Sol Campbell, Fraser Forster, Danny Guthrie, Steve Harper, Tim Krul, Kevin Nolan, James Perch, Wayne Routledge, Danny Simpson, Alan Smith, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Andy Carroll, Ryan Donaldson, Shane Ferguson, Dan Gosling, Tamas Kadar, Nile Ranger, Haris Vuckic.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Hatem Ben Arfa, Jimmy Bullard, Alan Hutton.

VERDICT: Fit for the fight.

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Matthew Etherington
Etherington is enjoying life at Stoke after signing a new contract

Unfashionable, unfancied and uncompromising, yet Stoke have won plenty of admirers in their two seasons of Premier League football since winning promotion in 2008.

Annually expected to fail, two mid-table finishes are testimony to the merits of the unashamedly combative and direct style employed by Tony Pulis's side.

Ambition is not beyond the Potters, though, and while their summer bid for Nice forward Loic Remy failed, Pulis pulled off something of a coup in attracting Sunderland's talented frontman Kenwyne Jones to the Britannia Stadium for a club record £8m.

Potters fans will hope the big Trinidadian can provide the finishing touch that has often eluded their other strikers - and any further additions before the close of the transfer window might be expected to promise the same.

Either way, as might be expected, Stoke will rely heavily on experienced home-grown players and a collection of non-home-grown players fully versed in the pressures of the Premier League in the coming campaign.


NON-HOME-GROWN: Abdoulaye Faye, Ricardo Fuller, Kenwyne Jones, Thomas Sorensen, Mamady Sidibe, Sanli Tuncay.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: James Beattie, Asmir Begovic, Danny Collins, Andrew Davies, Rory Delap, Carl Dickinson, Matthew Etherington, Danny Higginbotham, Robert Huth, Dave Kitson, Liam Lawrence, Carlo Nash, Danny Pugh, Ryan Shawcross, Tom Soares, Michael Tonge, Glenn Whelan, Dean Whitehead, Andy Wilkinson.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Florent Cuvelier, Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton, Matthew Lund, Ben Marshall, Ryan Shotton, Nathaniel Wedderburn.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Jermaine Pennant, Loic Remy.

VERDICT: Mid-table finish again the target.

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Darren Bent
Bent scored 24 goals in his debut season for Sunderland last term

A flying start last season had some Sunderland fans dreaming of an end to their lower-mid-table strife and the start of the Black Cats' push for European football.

In the end, the reality was that only a turnaround in the club's form late in the season saved them a lengthier battle against the drop.

Two things might inspire a change in fortunes this season. Firstly, Steve Bruce will be hoping the likes of Lee Cattermole won't suffer serious injury as he did last year, and that new additions Marcos Angeleri, Titus Bramble, Christian Riveros and Danny Welbeck bolster a squad short on numbers and quality at times last season.

Secondly, the re-emergence of fierce rivals Newcastle as a Premier League force could prove a catalyst in itself. Whatever the ambitions of the club previously, finishing above the Magpies will be priority number one now.

Bruce looks to be approaching the season with a squad full of depth, and with more than enough home-grown talent to satisfy the Premier League rules.

And if Darren Bent can repeat last season's fine form the Black Cats will fancy sustaining a challenge in the top half of the table a little while longer this time around.


NON-HOME-GROWN: Ahmed Al-Muhammadi, Marcos Angeleri, Paulo Da Silva, Craig Gordan, Steed Malbranque, John Mensah, Simon Mignolet, Christian Riveros, Boudewijn Zenden.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Phil Bardlsey, Darren Bent, Titus Bramble, Fraizer Campbell, Trevor Carson, Lee Cattermole, Anton Ferdinand, David Healy, Matthew Kilgallon, George McCartney, Nedum Onuoha, Andy Reid, Kieran Richardson, Michael Turner, Martyn Waghorn.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Jack Colback, Jordan Henderson, David Meyler, Ryan Noble.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Nedum Onuoha, Danny Welbeck, Luke Young.

VERDICT: Looking up, not down.

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Gareth Bale
Bale will be pivotal for Spurs this season despite his under-21 status

One of the game's great wheeler-dealers, Harry Redknapp has assembled a well-balanced squad at Tottenham.

Concerns over the fitness of Jonathan Woodgate need not worry the manager at this stage - he fits into a squad of 25 as it stands - while having the likes of Gareth Bale, Giovani dos Santos and new-boy Sandro as free under-21 picks swells his numbers nicely.

That said, with Redknapp still looking to bring in a couple more players, the likes of Alan Hutton, Robbie Keane, Jamie O'Hara and Woodgate could well be looking over their shoulders in fear of their place in the squad in the near future.

Redknapp, on the back of leading Tottenham to a top-four finish for the first time in the Premier League, says he has three players he wants capture. Should he be successful, he says, Spurs can launch a title challenge.

Qualifying for the Champions League group stages could prove pivotal to the Londoners' bid to add to their numbers, and being drawn against Swiss side Young Boys gives them every chance of doing that.

A club that traditionally leaves things late in the window, at least the nationality of any new arrivals is of little concern to Tottenham.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Sebastien Bassong, Vedran Corluka, Carlo Cudicini, Heurelho Gomes, Alan Hutton, Younes Kaboul, Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric, Wilson Palacios, Roman Pavlyuchenko.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: David Bentley, Peter Crouch, Michael Dawson, Jermain Defoe, Dorian Dervite, Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Robbie Keane, Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, Jamie O'Hara, Kyle Naughton, Jonathan Woodgate.


SELECTED UNDER-21s: Gareth Bale, Jake Livermore, Ryan Mason, Jonathan Obika, Danny Rose, Sandro, Giovani dos Santos, Andros Townsend, Kyle Walker.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Craig Bellamy, Scott Parker, Micah Richards, Ashley Young.

VERDICT: Additions key to their ambitions.

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Graham Dorrans
Hanging on to Dorrans was a big bit of business for West Brom

Too good for the Championship but not good enough for the Premier League, West Brom have been the archetypal yo-yo club in recent years.

This time they come up on the back of a second-place finish in the Championship, and with Roberto di Matteo at the helm the Baggies are certainly expected to play the game 'the right way' on their return to the top flight.

What they could probably have done without, mind, is an opening to the season that reads Chelsea-Sunderland-Liverpool-Tottenham-Birmingham-Arsenal.

As expected, Di Matteo has added to his relatively small numbers in steady rather than explosive fashion - mindful of not bankrupting a club accustomed to one-season stays in the Premier League - with Pablo Ibanez, Boaz Myhill, Stephen Reid, Nicky Shorey and Gabriel Tamas brought in at modest expense.

A good start might be too much to ask considering the fixtures, but expect West Brom to earn a few admirers this season and the odds would suggest they have to stick in the Premier League at one point or another.

Another club with nothing to fear when it comes to meeting the new home-grown player rules.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Roman Bednar, Marek Cech, Graham Dorrans, Pablo Ibanez, Gonzalo Jara, Abdoulaye Meite, Youssouf Mulumbu, Jonas Olsson, Gabriel Tamas, Gianni Zuiverloon.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Giles Barnes, Leon Barnett, Chris Brunt, Scott Carson, Luke Moore, Ishamel Miller, James Morrison, Boaz Myhill, Reuben Reid, Steven Reid, Nicky Shorey, Jerome Thomas.


SELECTED UNDER-21s: Kayleden Brown, Simon Cox, Paul Downing, Lateef Elford-Alliyu, Sam Mantom, Joe Mattock, Romaine Sawyers, George Thorne, Chris Wood.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: George Boateng, Calum Davenport, Rob Hulse.

VERDICT: Bite your hands off for 17th.

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Rob Green
Green will look to make up for his World Cup disappointment this term

Fire-fighting has become the norm at West Ham of late, so approaching a season with genuine hope and optimism might prove rather alien to some supporters.

However, owners David Sullivan and David Gold are working the club towards a solid financial footing, and in Avram Grant the Londoners have a new manager who has impressed at both ends of the Premier League table with Chelsea and Portsmouth.

Despite tales of the club being £110m in debt when the Davids took over, the self-confessed West Ham fans have dug deep into their pockets this summer to bring the likes of Pablo Barrera, Winston Reid, Frederic Piquionne and Thomas Hitzlsperger to Upton Park to help balance the squad.

As it stands, the Hammers have eight senior home-grown players in their squad, and all of them would expect to make the 25-man list.

And should they successfully hold off the overtures of Tottenham and hang on to Scott Parker, the Londoners' squad might just start to reflect a rather more balanced appearance than younger West Ham fans are used to, especially if youngsters like Freddie Sears and Zavon Hines can take another step forward this campaign.

A lot could, of course, change over the next couple of weeks, though, and the uncertainty that still surrounds the club's finances remains to the extent that high-profile player departures cannot be ruled out.

In other words: watch this space.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Pablo Barrera, Valon Behrami, Tal Ben Haim, Manuel Da Costa, Fabio Daprela, Alessandro Diamanti, Julien Faubert, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Herita Illunga, Radoslav Kovac, Peter Kurucz, Benni McCarthy, Luis Boa Morte, Frederic Piquionne, Winston Reid.


SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Carlton Cole, Kieron Dyer, Danny Gabbidon, Rob Green, Mark Noble, Scott Parker, Jonathan Spector, Matthew Upson.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Jack Collison, Zavon Hines, Frank Nouble, Freddie Sears, Jordan Spence, Junior Stansilas, Marek Stech, James Tomkins.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Jamie O'Hara, Miralem Sulejamani, Yakubu.

VERDICT: Cautiously optimistic?

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Hugo Rodallega
Rodallega is one of a host of non-home-grown players at Wigan

Wigan may have blown hot and cold more often than a kettle in the snow last season, but they are at least competing for honours on one front in the Premier League at the moment - having the highest number of foreign players in their squad.

Only Manchester City and Liverpool possess more non-home-grown players, with manager Roberto Martinez boasting a wealth of foreign talent.

Just one of Martinez's signings at the JJB Stadium has been English - Victor Moses from Crystal Palace last season - and the additions of Antolin Alcaraz, Ali Al-Habsi, Mauro Boselli, James McCarthur and Ronnie Stam this summer have taken their number of non-home-grown players to 15.

That could mean Martinez has a signing or two to make if he is to boost his home-grown quota, with loans most likely to be the order of the day.

If not, numbers might just get tight in the first few months of the season and that is something Wigan, among the bookies' favourites to go down, can ill afford.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Antolin Alcaraz, Ali Al Habsi, Antonio Amaya, Mauro Boselli, Mohamed Diame, Maynor Figueroa, Steve Gohouri, Jordi Gomez, Cho Won Hee, James McArthur, Daniel De Ridder, Hugo Rodallega, Jason Scotland, Ronnie Stam, Hendry Thomas.


SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Emmerson Boyce, Gary Caldwell, Chris Kirkland, Charles N'Zogbia, Mike Pollitt, Ben Watson.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: James McCarthy, Callum McManaman, Joe Holt, Victor Moses, Jordan Mustoe, Jonathan Routledge.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: James Beattie, Tyrone Mears, Jermaine Pennant.

VERDICT: The Latics are lacking right now.

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Kevin Doyle
Doyle will hope to pick up where he left off last season this campaign

After ensuring their Premier League survival by a distance in the end last season, the question for Wolves this coming campaign is which way will they go now: a sudden relapse to previous Premier League form or a step up to relative mid-table comfort?

How apt, then, on the opening day of the season Mick McCarthy's side face Stoke - a side who have come to signify mid-table security more than most. How telling might the result of that match prove?

Surprisingly for a gruff Yorkshireman of unquestionable honesty, 16 of McCarthy's 24 Premier League signings have been foreigners - and as a result his squad boasts a rather cosmopolitan appearance in their second season in the top flight.

It is one that has been added to rather abundantly, too, with six signings made for nearly £17m, underlying Wolves' ambition to become a regular force in the upper echelons of the English game.

Much is expected of the likes of Steven Fletcher, Stephen Hunt, Steven Mouyokolo, Jelle van Damme and Adlene Guedioura this season, and as such new pressures face McCarthy.


No doubt he will face them down in his blunt, terrifically entertaining manner whatever happens.

NON-HOME-GROWN: Christophe Berra, Jelle Van Damme, Kevin Doyle, Steven Fletcher, Adlene Guedioura, Marcus Hahnemann, Nenad Milijas, Steven Mouyokolo, Geoffrey Mujangi Bia, Stephen Ward, Ronald Zubar.

SENIOR HOME-GROWN: Jody Craddock, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, David Edwards, George Elokobi, Kevin Foley, Greg Halford, Wayne Hennessey, Karl Henry, Matthew Hill, Stephen Hunt, Carl Ikeme, Matt Jarvis, David Jones, Michael Kightly, Andy Keogh, Matt Murray, Richard Stearman.

SELECTED UNDER-21s: Ashley Hemmings, Scott Malone, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

POTENTIAL TARGETS: Andre Bikey, Jeremain Lens, Michael Mancienne.

VERDICT: Packing a punch.

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(Figures and squad lists correct as of 1200 BST on Friday 13 August)

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see also
New Premier League squad rules explained
27 Jul 10 |  Premier League
Fifa to scrap 'home-grown' plans
10 Jun 10 |  Football
Top flight backs home-grown quota
12 May 09 |  Premier League

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