James Hillson and Joel Lopez are both in Arsenal’s Europa League A-list, despite not having made their senior debuts, and the reason why is pretty straightforward.

Joel Lopez signs a new contract for Arsenal. Highbury House. Emirates Stadium, 27/6/19. Credit : Arsenal Football Club / David Price.
Joel Lopez signs a new contract for Arsenal. Highbury House. Emirates Stadium, 27/6/19. Credit: Arsenal Football Club / David Price.

Arsenal confirmed their Europa League squad on Thursday, naming 24 players in their A-list and 21 players in their B-list (see the full lists at the bottom of this article).

The B-list isn’t set in stone, as it can be altered up to 24 hours before each match, but the A-list can only be changed once, before the knockout stage. Only three players can be added at that point as well, excluding emergency goalkeepers.

As a result, it might be surprising to see goalkeeper James Hillson and left-back Joel Lopez in the A list, but the reason why is that they aren’t eligible for the B list.

To qualify for the B list, you have to be born on or after 1st January 1998, which both players are. However, you also have to have spent an uninterrupted period of two years with your current club since your 15th birthday.

Hillson (February 2019) and Lopez (July 2018) don’t fulfil that requirement, so they’ve both been placed on the A list instead.

Karl Hein (Photo via Instagram / Karl_Jakob_Hein)
Karl Hein (Photo via Instagram / Karl_Jakob_Hein)

Goalkeeper Karl Hein is also ineligible for the B list after joining last summer. Unfortunately, there was no space for him in the A list.

Although the A list allows a maximum of 25 players, that has to include eight ‘locally trained’ players, who have been on the books at Arsenal or another FA club for three years between the ages of 15 and 21.

Arsenal only have seven (Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Martinez, Holding, Chambers, Macey, Hillson), so their maximum squad is reduced to 24.

As explained, the A list rules are relaxed for emergency goalkeepers anyway. If Arsenal did somehow have a catastrophic run of injuries or illnesses ruling out every other ‘keeper, Hein would then be allowed to act as a temporary replacement.


  • 1. Bernd Leno
  • 2. Hector Bellerin
  • 3. Kieran Tierney
  • 5. Sokratis Papastathopoulos
  • 8. Dani Ceballos
  • 9. Alexandre Lacazette
  • 10. Mesut Özil
  • 11. Lucas Torreira
  • 14. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • 15. Ainsley Maitland-Niles
  • 16. Rob Holding
  • 19. Nicolas Pepe
  • 20. Shkodran Mustafi
  • 21. Calum Chambers
  • 23. David Luiz
  • 26. Emiliano Martinez
  • 27. Konstantinos Mavropanos
  • 29. Matteo Guendouzi
  • 31. Sead Kolasinac
  • 33. Matt Macey
  • 34. Granit Xhaka
  • 35. Gabriel Martinelli
  • 63. James Hillson
  • 74. Joel Lopez


  • 24. Reiss Nelson
  • 28. Joe Willock
  • 32. Emile Smith Rowe
  • 38. Folarin Balogun
  • 40. Tolaji Bola
  • 41. Robbie Burton
  • 42. Harry Clarke
  • 43. Trae Coyle
  • 45. Tyreece John-Jules
  • 47. Jordan McEneff
  • 48. Mark McGuinness
  • 49. Zech Medley
  • 52. James Olayinka
  • 53. Joseph Olowu
  • 54. Tobi Omole
  • 57. Matt Smith
  • 59. Zak Swanson
  • 61. Nathan Tormey
  • 69. Ben Cottrell
  • 76. Arthur Okonkwo
  • 77. Bukayo Saka.