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Arthur Melo transfer to Liverpool will force Jurgen Klopp to axe senior player from the Champions League roster

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Arthur Melo transfer to Liverpool will force Jurgen Klopp to axe senior player from the Champions League roster

Arthur Melo became Liverpool’s fourth and final acquisition of the summer on the final day of the transfer window.

Due to their injury-plagued start to the season, notably in the midfield, the Reds recruited the Brazil international on a season-long loan from Juventus.

The 26-year-old will immediately be included in Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League squad and, if match-fit, will be able to make his debut in Saturday’s Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park.

Clubs may designate a squad of up to 25 players, excluding Under-21s players born on or after January 1, 2001, with at least eight homegrown players necessary for a complete squad. 

Klopp is limited to naming a team of no more than 24 players due to Liverpool’s seven homegrown players.

Fortunately for the Reds, qualifying Under-21s players such as Curtis Jones, Fabio Carvalho, Harvey Elliott, and summer acquisition Calvin Ramsay guarantee that they will not be shorthanded.

Even with Arthur’s arrival, Liverpool will only have 16 senior international players, meaning they will only fill 23 of their 24 available positions.

However, UEFA rules make compiling a 25-man roster for the Champions League a bit more problematic, with the addition of the Brazilian making it likely that one senior player would be left out of the Reds’ team for European competition.

Liverpool once again lacks sufficient indigenous talent to announce a complete 25-man squad, as they can only fulfil three of the four needed club-trained positions that comprise their eight-man qualifying quota. Consequently, they may only nominate a maximum of 24 players.

However, because UEFA’s criteria for Under-21s players differ from those of the Premier League, they would need to include a small number of their young players if they desire to use them in Europe this season. 

Already owning 23 senior players, including Arthur, his entrance will result in the exclusion of a number of players.

In the Premier League, Ramsay, Carvalho, Stefan Bajcetic, Kaide Gordon, and Bobby Clark are all classified as Under-21s players, however none of the five qualify for the UEFA equivalent (List B).

UEFA rules state: “A player may be registered on List B if he is born on, or after, 1 January 2001 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA – or for a total of three consecutive years with a maximum of one loan period to a club from the same association for a period not longer than one year. Players aged 16 may be submitted if they have been registered with the club for the previous two years without interruption.”

As Ramsay and Carvalho are both new arrivals, they must be included in Liverpool’s 25-man squad.

As Ramsay and Carvalho are both new arrivals, they must be included in Liverpool’s 25-man squad. The same holds true for Bajcetic and Gordon, who have been at Anfield for barely 18 months, as well as Clark, who moved to Merseyside last summer.

Bajcetic, Gordon, and Clark will realistically not be included in Klopp’s Champions League team and will instead participate in the UEFA Youth League this season. 

As a result of his outstanding start to the season, Carvalho is the leading candidate to occupy the final available spot in Liverpool’s 24-man squad.

But if the Reds choose to add Ramsay as well, one of their injured players would certainly miss the most of these compacted Champions League group stages and be out for an extended period of time.

Liverpool’s European season begins on September 7 away against Napoli, 24 hours after the start of the group stages on September 7 (next Tuesday).

Meanwhile, owing to the 2022 World Cup beginning in November, Liverpool’s sixth and final Champions League group game will be played at home against Napoli on November 1, nearly a month sooner than usual.

Curtis Jones and Joel Matip returned to the matchday squad against Newcastle United on Wednesday night, and Jurgen Klopp has already indicated that Diogo Jota will resume training on Thursday, with Thiago Alcantara not far after. 

However, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Ibrahima Konate appear to be long-term absentees, while it remains to be known how long Jordan Henderson will be out with a hamstring injury sustained against the Magpies.

Consequently, when Liverpool submit their Champions League group-stages squad, which they are required to file with the appropriate association to be vetted, authenticated, and delivered to UEFA by Friday, 2 September at 24:00 CET, they may also provide an injury update on one of their walking wounded.

If one of their injured players is omitted, it would seem that Liverpool expects to be without him until late October at the earliest, unless the omission indicates that the player is not a crucial component of Klopp’s plans nonetheless. 

Klopp will be in close communication with the club’s medical team as he considers his options for the Reds’ Champions League roster.

However, the Liverpool manager has another option to consider. With each club required to include at least two goalkeepers on List A and at least three in total (List A and List B combined), it is possible that the German could leave out Adrian, his third-choice goalkeeper, and call on Harvey Davies, a young goalkeeper, to fill out the roster behind Alisson and Caoimhin Kelleher.

Such a choice would be risky, but it may be worthwhile since, in the odd event that the Reds would need to turn to Adrian, UEFA regulations could allow them to make a temporary substitution. 

As a result, if a team cannot rely on the services of at least two goalkeepers listed on List A due to a long-term injury or illness (lasting at least 30 days), they can replace him temporarily at any time throughout the season.

With Arthur now on board, Klopp must decide which of his 23 senior Liverpool players or summer acquisitions Carvalho and Ramsay will be unable to play in Europe for the first half of the season.

Potential Liverpool Champions League squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker, Caoimhin Kelleher (club-trained).

Defenders: Joe Gomez (club-trained), Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Calvin Ramsay, Andy Robertson, Nat Phillips (association-trained), Trent Alexander-Arnold (club-trained).

Midfielders: Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner (association-trained), Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson (association-trained), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (association-trained), Arthur Melo.

Forwards: Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho.

Selected List B (qualifying Under-21s players): Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Isaac Mabaya, Jake Cain, James Norris, Jarrell Quansah, Dominic Corness, Layton Stewart, Max Woltman, Thomas Hill, Harvey Blair, Oakley Cannonier, Luke Chambers, Harvey Davies.

Left out player: Adrian

Arthur Melo transfer to Liverpool will force Jurgen Klopp to axe senior player from the Champions League roster

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