UEFA have announced the full squads for all 48 teams taking part in the group stages of the Europa League starting next Thursday. Everton have 27 players in their squad list, with a couple of interesting names thrown in for good measure while there was at least one surprising omission.
The roster rules for the Europa League put some interesting restrictions on what Ronald Koeman can do, and these regulations help to explain the squad decisions, at least in part. There are two pertinent rules to note.
The first is the distinction between List A and List B players. Clubs may have up to 25 List A players, but as many List B players as desired.
A List B-eligible player is one who will be 21 or younger on January 1, 2018 — and has spent at least two years registered with the club. In Everton’s case, Mason Holgate, Callum Connolly, Jonjoe Kenny, and Tom Davies are List B players.
Again, note that teams may have as many List B players as they’d like — which is why Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal Europa League squad has 42 players in total!
The second important rule defines who can be on a club’s List A of players. Imagine that every team starts with a pool of 25 List A roster spots.
- 17 of those spots can be held by any player — regardless of age, country of origin, or club history.
- 4 of those spots must be held by players who spent 36 months eligible to play for a club in the club’s country between the ages of 15 and 21 — England in Everton’s case. If you cannot list four players who meet these conditions, you lose that spot in List A. This is of no concern to Everton — there are more than enough players in the squad who played for an English club in their youth.
- The last 4 of those spots must be held by players who spent 36 months eligible to play for the club between the ages of 15 and 21. This is where Everton runs out of options. Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley both fit the bill here, but no other Toffees do. For this reason, Everton can only have 23 List A players.
23 List A players, plus 4 List B players, and you have the 27-man roster named by Koeman. It is important to note that at the end of the group stage, a maximum of three new players can be added for the Round of 32 onward. However, the above rules still apply in the knockout stages as well — so new players added may result in the removal of existing players.
With these conditions in mind, let’s try to explain the presence (and absence) of some notable players.
Ross Barkley -
The forward has been added to the squad despite reportedly being out until December. Per the regulations, even if he were to play for Everton it would not leave him Cup-tied to play for either Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League, with both having been linked as suitors for the player in the January transfer window.
Barkley, as one of the two Everton players who spent 36 months with Everton from the ages of 15 to 21, fills a roster spot that could not be held by any of the players who missed out.
Kevin Mirallas -
The wantaway Belgian has not taken well to being disciplined by Ronald Koeman, freely admitting to the press about his disappointment that a move to Olympiacos in Greece did not work out during the transfer window, and being linked with Fenerbahce in Turkey with their window closing this week. However, he is in the squad to provide some much needed depth and experience should he stay with the Blues.
Seamus Coleman -
Adding the right-back to the list is a bit of a strange decision, considering he is not expected to be back until December, at least from what Farhad Moshiri said last week. Which then makes the omission of the next name even more odd.
Yannick Bolasie -
The forward is expected to be fully fit and back in the squad in October, so why he is out of this list but Coleman is on is somewhat puzzling.
The best guess is likely that Koeman thinks the late group-stage matches could be a good chance for Coleman to rehab. Bolasie will likely have already been back in the squad for a fair bit of time before Coleman’s return, and won’t need that tune up.
The Congolese winger can be added to the squad in the place of another player (but not Rooney or Barkley) after the group stage ends, however.
Callum Connolly -
The fullback is out on a full-season loan at Ipswich Town in the Championship. His name in the Europa League squad is interesting, because it means the club probably have an agreement with the Tractor Boys to recall the youngster in an injury emergency.
Because Connolly is a List B player, his inclusion does not take a spot from a player like Bolasie.
Oumar Niasse -
Despite being handed a squad number (and likely a locker), his future at Everton remains uncertain and he has been added to the Premier League 25-player squad, but is not on the Europa League list. This makes sense, given that he would have to take a spot from Bolasie and another player to make the squad.
Here is the full squad list submitted to UEFA, via the LiverpoolEcho -
Jordan Pickford, Maarten Stekelenburg, Joel Robles.
Leighton Baines, Michael Keane, Ashley Williams, Phil Jagielka, Cuco Martina, Seamus Coleman, Mason Holgate, Callum Connolly, Jonjoe Kenny.
Morgan Schneiderlin, Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas, Aaron Lennon, James McCarthy, Idrissa Gueye, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaasen, Muhamed Besic, Tom Davies, Nikola Vlasic, Ademola Lookman.
Sandro Ramirez, Wayne Rooney, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.