With the help of @WolvesAnalytics, a twitter account dedicated to Wolves stats, Richard Hobbs looks at what transfer rules might impact Wolves in the January transfer window.
It’s 11.59 on 31st December 2017. You look back on the ups and downs of 2017, the what ifs and could haves, the potential year ahead at what could finally be ‘your year’ and the new year resolutions that you’ll no doubt fail before Valentines day.
As the clock strikes midnight, everything starts again. You are filled with hope and expectation about the unknown potential of what might unfold in front of you. I am of course talking about the start of the January transfer window.
There is renewed optimism surrounding Molineux as Wolves sit at the summit of the league table. Life’s good right now in Wolverhampton and there’s is little that massively stands out that needs improving.
However with the club looking set to return to the Premier League next season (it’s not jinxing it before anyone says anything), Nuno and the board will be acutely aware back up players need improving, some loan signing need to be secured on permanent deals and the likes of Bonatini and Doherty have no natural replacement if they get injured.
So it’s likely Wolves will foray into the transfer market at the start of the new year, but like with most good things in life, there are lots of rules and regulations these days surrounding transfers. Bloody red tape eh?!
Wolves Analytics, a twitter account dedicated to stats about Wolves, wrote a thread about how some of the regulations might impact Wolves, which we’ve expanded on.
First of all, this doesn’t include anything about FFP – for that check out a great blog on our site earlier this year here
On a match day, a football league team can only include five loan players. At time of writing, Wolves currently have have players on loan; Bonatini, Jota, Boly, N’Diaye and Vinagre.
52.4.1 A maximum of 5 Players registered on a Temporary Loan Transfer can be named in the Players listed on a team sheet for any individual match played under the auspices of The League. This maximum shall reduce to 4 Players where a Club names a Player on the team sheet who is registered on an Emergency Goalkeeper Loan;
All the these five players are pretty much expected to be in the match day squad, whether as a starter or on the bench.
So if Wolves are looking to exploit the loan market that has been so effective for them, Wolves will either need to sign them on a permanent deal or drop them from the match squad.
Probably the best business Wolves could do is securing the future of Bonatini and Jota permanently, which isn’t out of the realms of possibility.
Vinagre has shone in his first season in senior football and I would love him to stay and continuing develop here.
I have a bad feeling however about Boly’s long term future at Molineux. The man mountain wasn’t keen on an initial move to Wolves and I’m not sure, even if we get promoted, that he will be here next season. Also don’t see a future for N’Diaye at Wolves next season. I don’t think he’s a bad player, but going up a division, we need a player of greater quality to rotate with Neves and Saiss.
Home Grown Players
The only temporary signing who doesn’t always command a place in the squad is Vinagre. This is partly due to the second regulation that impacts the match day squad.
A match day squad needs to have at least seven ‘Home Grown’ players, someone who has played in England or Wales for three years prior to their 21st birthday.
33.8 Home Grown Players. Each Club shall be required to nominate a minimum of seven Home Grown Players on their Team Sheet of Players for all League Competition Matches (including Play Off Matches).
33.9 ‘Home Grown Player’ shall mean a Player who irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with:-
33.9.1 his current Club; and/or
33.9.2 a Club and/or any other football club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales, for a period, continuous or not of three Seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the Season during which he turns 21). For the purposes of this definition of Home Grown Player only, a Season will be deemed to commence on the date on which the first Transfer Window in that Season closes and expire on the date of the final League Match of the Season.
With an 18 man squad (11 starters and 7 subs), Wolves can have up to 11 non homegrown players on a match day.
For the majority of the campaign so far, Wolves tend have three homegrown players starting games (Ruddy, Batth/Bennett and Coady) and four on the bench.
Here are the squads from the last few games to show the spread of home grown and none homegrown players. None-HG players are highlighted in red.
Even though he’s came to Wolves as a youngster, Doherty doesn’t class as a home grown player and despite Enobakhare being born in Nigeria, classes as a HG player due to coming through the system.
Boly, Douglas, Doherty, Neves, Saiss, Jota, Cavaleiro and Bonatini have all secured their places in the starting 11. Leaving Nuno to pick three out of a four of Miranda, Costa, Vinagre and N’Diaye for the bench.
So if Wolves for sign a non-homegrown player, it would mean two of the above missing out. Given Costa’s ability and N’Diaye being 3rd choice midfielder, Vinagre and Miranda would most likely miss out.
It doesn’t mean that Wolves can’t/won’t sign anyone, but it will be interesting to see which loan players are tied up permanently and if Wolves look towards homegrown talent in January.
Given this information, what business would you like to see happen in January?
Big thanks to @WolvesAnalytics for his background research on the regulations and also to @wolves_academy for his information on home grown players in WA original twitter thread. If you are a fan of football stats, I’d highly recommend following Wolves Analytics and Wolves Academy for a great insight in the youth players at the club.