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Revealed: The ingenious reason Arsenal have included William Saliba in their Premier League squad

William Saliba

Arsenal (opens in new tab) have included William Saliba in their Premier League squad (opens in new tab) despite the fact that the defender is spending the season on loan at Saint-Etienne.

The Gunners signed the 18-year-old in July but agreed to send him back to his former club in Ligue 1 for 2019/20.

But although Saliba is currently playing his football in a completely different country, Arsenal are still opting to include him in their 49-man group for the campaign.

This is not an oversight by the club's administrators, however, but rather an astute move which could benefit the Gunners going forward.

Premier League sides must submit a 25-man squad each season, of which a maximum of 17 can be non-homegrown players.

Top-flight clubs are also entitled to register an unlimited number of players under the age of 21.

Homegrown players don't necessarily have to be English, but they must have spent at least three seasons with an English team before turning 21 – which means Saliba will be defined as homegrown if he's registered by Arsenal in the next two campaigns. Effectively, a year earlier than hoped. 

Good work, Gunners.

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