ASTON Villa’s small squad size has been highlighted by the club registering just 22 of the 25 permitted senior players with the Premier League.
Clubs are allowed to name up to 25 players for top-flight duty under new rules following the closure of the transfer window on Tuesday evening.
However, under the regulations Villa’s first-team party can be supplemented by a host of under-21 players who do not have to be included in the squad.
The ruling was brought in to prevent Premier League clubs having large numbers of unused players and some clubs, like Manchester City, have struggled to cut their squad down to 25.
Villa had no such problems and already subscribe to the homegrown player philosophy which the new directive is striving to encourage.
Marc Albrighton, Nathan Delfouneso, Barry Bannan and Ciaran Clark, who have all played for the senior side this season, are in the additional list of youngsters, along with Fabian Delph.
Villa’s senior squad includes midfielders Isaiah Osbourne and Moustapha Salifou, who have barely played in the last few seasons, along with over-21 academy graduates Eric Lichaj and Jonathan Hogg, who made their competitive debuts last month. Stephen Ireland is the only new arrival during the summer after being an £8 million makeweight in the £26 million deal that took James Milner to Manchester City.
Nicky Shorey, Wilfred Bouma, Marlon Harewood and Stephen O’Halloran have also left to join West Bromwich Albion, PSV Eindhoven, Blackpool and Coventry City respectively.
Changes can be made to the squad when the transfer window reopens in January.
? SQUAD: Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, James Collins, Carlos Cuellar, Curtis Davies, Habib Beye, Richard Dunne, Eric Lichaj, Stephen Warnock, Luke Young, Stewart Downing, Jonathan Hogg, Stephen Ireland, Isaiah Osbourne, Stiliyan Petrov, Nigel Reo-Coker, Moustapha Salifou, Steve Sidwell, Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor, John Carew, Emile Heskey.
? UNDER 21 Contract and Scholars: Marc Albrighton, Nathan Baker, Barry Bannan, Calum Barrett, Joshua Barton, Durrell Berry, Richard Bryan, Graham Burke, Courtney Cameron, Samir Carruthers, Ciaran Clark, James Collins jnr, Matthew Coton, Darious Darkin, Ellis Deeney, Nathan Delfouneso, Fabian Delph, Daniel Devine, Michael Drennan, Calum Flanagan, Harry Forrester, Gary Gardner, Arsenio Halfhuid, Christopher Herd, Sebastien Jenkins, Daniel Johnson, Jason Lampkin, Shane Lowry, Ebby Nelson-Addy, Elliott Parish, Benjamin Siegrist, Andra Steiber, Connor Taylor, Charles Ward, Andreas Weimann, Derrick Williams.