Neil Warnock will have to name his 25-man Premier League squad on Friday ahead of the Bluebirds’ clash with Bournemouth on Saturday.
It’s almost decision time for the Cardiff City boss as he selects his Premier League squad for the upcoming campaign.
Unlike the Championship, Cardiff City must have a squad of 25 players for the campaign, and those not selected cannot take part in league competition until the next selection opportunity, in January.
Clubs must have a minimum of eight home-grown players, meaning they must have played for an FA-registered club for three years before their 21st birthday, and the other 17 are unrestricted.
Players under the age of 21 can also play without being included in the 25-man list, offering hope to talented youngsters such as Cameron Coxe.
However, there will be no such hope for some of Cardiff City’s first team stars who are set to miss out. Those who miss out will be able to join an EFL club or an overseas club until August 31st.
So who makes the grade and who misses out? Here’s our take.
Neil Etheridge, Alex Smithies, Brian Murphy
This is pretty straight forward. Cardiff City’s reliable stopper from last season, Neil Etheridge gets the nod, along with new signing Alex Smithies and designated number three Brian Murphy.
Lee Peltier, Joe Bennett, Sean Morrison, Sol Bamba, Bruno Ecuele-Manga, Jazz Richards, Matthew Connolly, Greg Cunningham
Another straight forward selection with all eight making the grade. There’s a chance Matthew Connolly misses out, but that’s very unlikely. Youngster Cameron Coxe can also offer an extra option being under 21.
The Bluebirds head into the season with two right-backs, two left-backs and four centre-backs. Greg Cunningham is the only name added from last season, joining from Preston North End.
Joe Ralls, Aron Gunnarsson, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Loic Damour, Junior Hoilett, Victor Camarasa, Harry Arter, Josh Murphy, Callum Paterson, Kadeem Harris
This one is a little more tricky with a few missing out. We’ve also included wingers into this section, so it includes the likes of new signing Josh Murphy, as well as last season’s stars Mendez-Laing and Junior Hoilett.
Deadline day signings Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa will of course make the grade, adding strength alongside the players already at the club, including Joe Ralls, Callum Paterson, Aron Gunnarsson and co.
The Bluebirds have a nice balance here with six centre midfield options for three positions, and four wingers for two spots.
That includes Kadeem Harris, who could get the nod over Lee Tomlin due to the depth in the centre compared to out wide. That will be a key call for Neil Warnock.
Another who will likely miss out is Stuart O’Keefe, who spent last season on loan to Portsmouth. He’s likely to depart on loan before the end of the month.
Bobby Reid, Kenneth Zohore, Gary Madine, Danny Ward.
This one is pretty straight forward. Neil Warnock doesn’t have too many options in this position after failing to add a striker on deadline day.
Lead striker Kenneth Zohore will likely lead the line, though new signing Bobby Reid will have something to say about that. Reid can also play in the attacking midfield role, or out wide, so he will be a handy option for Warnock.
Danny Ward and Gary Madine may find opportunities a little more difficult to come by, but they will almost certainly make the squad.
Those who miss out include Anthony Pilkington, who rarely featured last season, Rhys Healey, who probably hasn’t done enough despite having a good pre-season, and Ibrahim Meite who hasn’t had a look in. All of those players are likely to leave on loan before the end of the month.
Missing out (5)
Anthony Pilkington, Stuart O’Keefe, Ibrahim Meite, Rhys Healey and Lee Tomlin.
When can Neil Warnock change his squad?
Neil Warnock won’t be able to change his 25-man squad until the January transfer window opens.
The Premier League may also allow changes in special circumstances, for example they may consider the change if a player is ruled out for the entire season, or if a player makes a shock move to China, or somewhere where the transfer windows don’t align.