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How many foreign players can a Premier League club sign?

The Premier League is one of the most followed competitions across the world. Some of the best players on the planet ply their trade in the English top tier. And many of them are not English internationals like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin de Bruyne to name a few. The Premier League also has stars who have come other continents like Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker.

A Premier League side can sign only a limited number of overseas players as the FA wants to promote more home grown players. Let us take a look at the squad registration rules in detail.

Premier League Squad Registration Rules

A Premier League club is allowed to sign a maximum of 25 players in the squad. However, a team can sign as many U21 players as they want.

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Out of the 25 players, there can be only 17 'non-home grown' senior players. So the rest eight must be 'home-grown' players if a team needs to fulfill the maximum quota of 25. A non-home grown player can be of any nationality and age.

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What constitutes a 'home grown' player?

'Home Grown' means that a player must have been on the books of a club affiliated with the Football Association (England's governing body) for at least three years before they turn 21 – it does not mean that they have to be English.

Cesc Fabregas, for example, joined Arsenal at 16 and was classed as a homegrown player despite being a Spanish international. But the Brexit has made things a bit more complicated.

The UK's exit from the European Union (EU) means that England will no longer have access to the Union’s single market of free movement of labour.   So clubs will not be able to sign players from overseas until they are 18. Hence the likes of Fabregas, Paul Pogba, Hector Bellerin could not have been signed by their respective clubs back then as they were all below 18.

But, if a player is signed at 18 and he plays for three years in the Premier League, then he will be considered as home grown, even when he becomes a senior.

What if a team does not have eight home grown players?

A Premier League club can choose not to have eight home grown players as the maximum squad size is 25. So if a team has five home grown players then they can register only 22 players in their roster.

How many foreign players are allowed in the starting XI of a Premier League side?

There are no limits on the number of foreign players in the starting XI of a Premier League side.