Liverpool has made adjustments to their Europa League squad, necessitating the exclusion of senior player Adrian to comply with the competition’s regulations.
This season, the Reds will square off against LASK from Austria, Union Saint-Gilloise from Belgium, and Toulouse from France in Group E. As favorites for the trophy, Liverpool will kick off their campaign against LASK on Thursday, September 21, and have now submitted their squad to UEFA.
Each team can select 25 players for their ‘List A,’ but Liverpool is restricted to naming 23 due to their shortage of homegrown talent. To reach 25 players, eight must be homegrown, a threshold that Liverpool cannot meet, even with the provision that overseas players who spent three years at the club between the ages of 15 and 21 also count.
The Europa League permits one less overseas player (17) than the Premier League, necessitating the exclusion of one player. Third-choice goalkeeper Adrian was the one omitted, and instead, Vitezslav Jaros has been included alongside Alisson and Caoimhin Kelleher.
Jaros, a Czech Republic Under-21 international, qualifies as a club-trained player. The omission of 36-year-old Adrian was made to accommodate Ben Doak, whose inclusion on List A was necessary for his participation in the competition. Liverpool and other clubs are not obligated to include players under the age of 21 on List A, as long as they have spent an uninterrupted two-year period at the club. Such players are categorized as List B, and their inclusion is only required 24 hours before a game.
However, this exception does not apply to Doak, an exciting 17-year-old winger who joined Liverpool from Celtic in March 2022. He shares a similar situation with new signing Ryan Gravenberch, who was not required to be listed in the team’s Premier League squad due to being 21 years old but falls short of UEFA’s criteria.
In contrast, neither Harvey Elliott (20) nor Stefan Bajcetic (18) is among Liverpool’s 23-man Europa League squad. Nonetheless, they remain eligible to participate in the competition since they are both under 21 and have been with Liverpool for over two years.
Among Liverpool’s squad members, only Jaros, Kelleher, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones, and Bobby Clark are considered homegrown. The predicament arises from Liverpool’s summer transfer window activities, which included the sale of homegrown players Jordan Henderson and James Milner, the departure of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and the loaning out of Nat Phillips.