Manchester United have submitted their senior Champions League squad to UEFA.
And some familiar names were absent from it.
First-team star Marcus Rashford and fellow youngsters such as Scott McTominay, Joel Pereira and Alex Tuanzebe – promoted to Jose Mourinho’s first team group – were all missing.
It caused some fans to fear something was afoot – and question why the young starlets had not been included.
There’s a simple explanation.
Teams competing in the Champions League must submit an ‘A list’ to UEFA.
The A list of senior players is defined as: A list: A maximum of 25 players, two of whom must be goalkeepers. There are a minimum of eight places reserved exclusively for ‘locally trained players’. If a club have fewer than eight locally trained players in their squad, then the maximum number of players on List A is reduced accordingly.
Teams can use as many players as they wish who qualify from a ‘B list’.
The B list is: Players who are born on or after the 1 January 1996 and have played for the club for an uninterrupted period of two years. The club can use any number of players from this list.
Rashford and his young team-mates qualify for the B list – which isn’t published – meaning they will be available for Mourinho to call upon when the group stages start next week with a home clash against Basel.
It means Mourinho can hand the Mancunian striker his debut in the competition and also has the opportunity to blood further youngsters – for example should the final game of the group stage be a dead rubber.