The Champions League draw, which took place yesterday, placed AC Milan in Group E along with Chelsea, Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb. A decent group for Stefano Pioli, who now must decide the squad.
Compared to Serie A, when the squad is named per game, the Champions League squad is set in stone for a longer period (group stage, knockout phase etc). Pioli must name his squad by September 2nd and there are several rules he must take into consideration.
As per UEFA’s official website, a team can name a total of 25 players on List A, which is the one that has to be handed in by September 2nd. Eight of the spots are reserved for ‘locally trained players’ and cannot be used for anyone else, meaning the total spots will decrease if a club cannot name eight locally trained players.
In order to qualify as a locally trained player, the player must have been on the club’s books for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21. Alternatively, the player could have been on another club’s books within the same association (Italy) for the same period. However, there are only four ‘association-trained’ spots among the eight spots.
For example, in Milan’s case, Davide Calabria is a club-trained player and Alessandro Florenzi is an association-trained player.
Then there is List B, which must be named the day before the Champions League clash in question. Only players that are born on or after January 1, 2001, are eligible for this list and the players must also have been training with the team for two years since turning 15. There is no cap on this list.
In short, the players that will be on List B are Primavera products. El Hilali and Chaka Traore are likely to be on that list, for example. The tricky part for Pioli will be to decide List A given the regulations. It’s been reported that Rade Krunic could be left out if his injury is as serious as feared.
Taking a look at Milan’s current squad, there are six players that qualify as locally-trained players: Antonio Mirante (association), Alessandro Florenzi (association), Davide Calabria (club), Matteo Gabbia (club), Sandro Tonali (association), Tommaso Pobega (club).
Pioli will thus be able to name 23 players on List A, potentially just 22 depending on the future of Gabbia. It should also be noted that two of the players in the squad must be goalkeepers.