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How the new Serie A squad rules effect the clubs

We went through Napoli's squad and several others in Serie A to see what kind of effect the new squad rules could have on the league.

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Yesterday, we learned of new squad rules that the FIGC will be implementing in Serie A starting next season. They're a pretty major shift in the old regulations, which... well, there were no squad rules in Serie A before. There wasn't even a formal player registration system. You just have what players you own, pick a matchday squad, and you're off!

Now, the FIGC wants Serie A to play by rules that fit the standard UEFA uses in Champions League and Europa League competition. For those who don't remember, that means the following: 25 man squads, no more than 17 of which are not club or association trained, each of which designation have four roster slots reserved for them.

To qualify as association trained, a player must have been part of an Italian club for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21. Club trained holds the same requirement, with the added restriction that it must have been with the club currently holding their registration (they can be out on loan as long as the registering club still owned their rights). Players under the age of 21 can be used without restriction (though in Europe they have to be with the club for several years first).

While Italy's regulars in European competitions are used to dealing with these regulations, there's still going to be quite an adjustment period for many clubs, including Napoli. To get a sense of where things stand, we went through the current squads of many of Italy's top teams to see how their squads would shape up if the new squad rules were enacted today.

Napoli come out... mostly OK. They only have one player that qualifies as club-trained right now in Lorenzo Insigne (though Josip Radosevic will next season), but have six other association-trained players. Because they have 17 "foreign" players (we'll refer to the non-club/association trained players that way from here on in, though it should be noted that some are native Italians who went abroad young and didn't come back until later), Napoli would have to go without two of the players currently in their squad.

Luckily, the players left out would be easy to pick; Antonio Rosati is essentially an exile in the squad, and another goalkeeper, Roberto Colombo, is only kept around as an emergency option. If a third keeper is needed, Napoli have Nikkita Contini impressing in goal in the Primavera, and he's frequently brought along in Napoli's Europa League traveling squads in case something happens to Rafael Cabral or Mariano Andujar before the match.

Looking around the rest of Serie A, both Juventus and Roma have sufficient players to fill their requirements for club and association trained players, but both clubs have a total of 26 over-21 players and would have to cut one from their squads, be it an association trained player of the minimum of four, or a foreign-trained player.

AC Milan are, despite all their flaws in recent years, in perfect compliance with these rules. Four club trained players, nine association trained, and 12 foreign players add up to a 25 man squad of over-21's. Inter are... less well off. They have just one club trained player (though they add a second in Mateo Kovacic next season), and can claim five association trained players. As they have 19 foreign players and one association trained player over the minimum, that means they'd have to drop three players to meet the regulations.

Fiorentina are in even worse straits. They also have just one club trained player, Khouma Babacar, and four association trained. While that's OK in and of itself, since it just means they have a few empty roster spots, they have a whopping 25 foreign players. That means they'd have to sift through their large squad and pick out almost a quarter of it to remove in order to meet the new rules. Further complicating things is that they have several U-21's will no longer be eligible for that listing next season and also won't count as club or association trained. That won't be easy to handle next summer as they figure out how to prune the squad.

Two successful sides in Italy this year are actually very well off as far as this list is concerned. Sampdoria, who currently are fourth in Serie A, have five club-trained players right now, as well as eleven association trained and just eight foreign players. That actually means that, at the moment, they have a roster spot open that they can use on any player they want. None of the other squads checked could boast that.

Genoa, who sit sixth and are just a point behind Sampdoria, have only three club trained players, but have a whopping ten association-trained players and only eleven foreign trained. That means that they, too, don't need to make any cuts and while they don't currently have any open spots, it'll make it a lot easier for them to maneuver their roster going forward.

While obviously these squads will shift and change in the future, knowing what the baseline is now gives us an idea of what these clubs will have to do to be compliant when the rules take effect. Some clubs have more work to do than others, but almost every club will have to change the way they build their squads moving forward. That's not a bad thing, though, because it's hard to deny at this point that the Italian way just wasn't working from a competitive standpoint any more.