New Premier League rule and change will impact Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Wolves and West Brom

The Premier League are set to shake up their youth program in a move that will ultimately have a ripple effect on how West Midlands clubs shape their squads, our colleagues StokeonTrentLive report.

With Premier League 2 planned to become an Under-21 league rather than its current appearance as an Under-23 competition, the league is unlikely to be regionalised which has been discussed as a potential option. The proposal should be voted on in time for next season.

Five older players will be allowed to feature at each club and, combined with a new rule limiting the number of players clubs are allowed to loan out, this will come into managers’ thinking when naming their shortlists and heading to the transfer market. Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers all compete in Premier League 2 Division 2.

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FIFA introduced the loan cap, but it will not apply to players aged 21 and under who have spent at least three years after the age of 15 registered with a club in the same national association; classified by the Premier League as “homegrown” players.

A maximum of eight players will be eligible for loan and eight will be loaned out by each club in the 2022/23 season – although Championship clubs are only allowed five players on loan in matchday squads anyway. This number will be gradually reduced to seven in 2023/24 and to six by 2024/25.

FIFA says the changes are being implemented to “develop young players, promote competitive balance and prevent hoarding”. The age limit for Premier League 2 comes amid research showing the average age of players involved is under 20 – and fears development will stagnate if clubs keep players in their early 20s to fill these matches.

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