The world’s football governing body FIFA are proposing new regulations that will limit the number of players that can be loaned in and out of a club in any given season. The initial rollout of the new rule will only affect international loans, but with the expectation that individual leagues will follow suit with domestic rules as well within three years.
The FIFA Council are yet to approve the new regulations that will only allow eight loan deals per club involving players aged 22 or over, including incoming and outgoing players, for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, with the number then being reduced to six for the subsequent 2022-23 season.
Per FIFA, the rules are being changed to “ensure that loans have a valid sporting purpose for youth development” as opposed to the wheeling and dealing that clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City have engaged in the last few years.
The Premier League’s domestic rules currently only cover the top tier, stating that clubs may not have more than two players on loan at any one time, a total of only four loans in the season and not more than one player from the same club at any given time. Additionally, there are no restrictions on how many players can be sent out on loan.
The provision that players under 22 will not be restricted will be beneficial for Everton who have an Under-23 side bursting at the seams, but doesn’t necessarily help the Toffees as they look to lighten the wage bill of veterans that are not contributing to the cause currently.
This season the Blues have only one player in on loan, right back Djibril Sidibe from AS Monaco in France, but have ten players loaned out, of which all ten are 22 and over. Only one of those players has his contract expiring at the end of this season - Luke Garbutt. A further six have their deals expiring at the end of the next season - Yannick Bolasie, Sandro Ramirez, Muhamed Besic, Kieran Dowell, Matthew Pennington and Shani Tarashaj. That leaves Jonjoe Kenny and Cenk Tosun as the only players whose deals end in 2022.
Even by next year’s rules, Everton are still within FIFA regulations with five loans in and out internationally. During the upcoming summer we can expect Marcel Brands to redouble his efforts to sell more players to make room in the squad for Carlo Ancelotti’s new signings, and try to send out more youth players from the Under-18 and Under-23 sides to get more competitive experience than they are currently getting.