Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will have no other option but to cut one player from his Europa League squad when it is named later this month.
Liverpool will play in the competition for the first time since 2016 this season, having finished fifth in the Premier League last season.
They have been drawn against Austrian side LASK, Belgian outfit Union SG and French club Toulouse in the group stage. The final of the tournament will be hosted by the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The competition may represent a chance for Klopp to give some minutes to younger players, given the Reds’ busy schedule that could see them playing in four competitions at one point in the season.
But the German will have a tricky decision to make when it comes to naming his squad – with one senior Liverpool player needing to miss out due to UEFA regulations.
Official UEFA regulations surrounding squad registration state that players must be divided into two sections – List A and List B.
To qualify for List B, a player must be born on or after January 1, 2002, and have been eligible to play for the club for ‘any uninterrupted period’ of two years, or ‘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’.
That means the likes of Ryan Gravenberch, Ben Doak and Trent Alexander-Arnold cannot be named as part of List B.
The other issue for Klopp is that the Reds currently have 18 players registered as ‘foreign’ in their current Premier League squad.
UEFA regulations state that only 17 foreign players can be named in a Europa League squad, with eight needing to be homegrown or trained by the club or association for three years before they turn 21.
Each club also must have at least two goalkeepers, with a further goalkeeper needing to be named in List B.
Liverpool could, therefore, sacrifice one of their two backup goalkeepers to Alisson, with Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian potentially at risk.
They do have several List B-eligible goalkeepers currently at the club, although Brazil starlet Marcelo Pitaluga narrowly misses out having signed in October 2020. He spent time at eighth-tier side Macclesfield last season.
Klopp could make a surprise call and not register Alisson if he plans to make Kelleher the starting goalkeeper.
If the Liverpool boss wants his three senior goalkeepers registered, however, he would have few available choices when it comes to an outfield player being left unregistered.
Injuries may determine who Klopp leaves out, with Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate and Thiago Alcantara all suffering from injury problems currently. All, however, are expected to return to play in the group stage of the Europa League.