British and Swiss players in Serie A no longer considered non-EU: Why AC Milan are the big winners from the change

The FIGC have confirmed that players from the UK and Switzerland will no longer be considered as non-EU and AC Milan are the big winners from the change, but what does this mean?

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The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have been given the green light to recognise British and Swiss footballers as meeting European Union citizenship regulations in Serie A, and AC Milan are set to be the main beneficiaries of the change.

As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the FIGC have been looking to amend their regulations on teams in Italy registering non-EU players so that those from the UK and Switzerland are treated equally to anyone from the 27 member states.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek trains with AC Milan. (Photo: AC Milan)

The matter was raised by the FIGC in discussions with the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and was approved with immediate effect without any need for official documentation to change the policy.

British influx in Serie A

Serie A clubs are currently limited to registering just two non-EU players in their squads, forcing sporting directors across the top flight to plan carefully for the new season and being restricted in their incoming transfers.

However, the new regulations are in effect as of the current transfer window, freeing up players from the UK and Switzerland to sign without taking up a non-EU spot.

Serie A has become a popular destination for a number of British players in particular since Brexit, with AS Roma signing Englishmen Chris Smalling, Tammy Abraham, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Milan swooping for England international Fikayo Tomori, whilst Ashley Young won the scudetto in 2021 with Inter.

Josh Doig. (@HellasVeronaFC)

Meanwhile, a host of Scottish players have featured in Italy, including Josh Doig, Liam Henderson, Lewis Ferguson, and Aaron Hickey, whilst Wales internationals Aaron Ramsey and Ethan Ampadu have played in Serie A.

AC Milan reap the benefits

Milan have particular reason to celebrate the rule change after announcing the signing of England international Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea this summer.

Noah Okafor of RB Salzburg scores past Mike Maignan. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

The midfielder would have taken up a non-EU slot but now frees up a space, and following the signing of Nigerian forward Samuel Chukwueze the Rossoneri would not be able to bring anyone else in.

Milan have also secured Noah Okafor from Red Bull Salzburg, and the Switzerland star will also be considered as an EU player, giving the Diavolo the space to bring in another player from outside Europe.

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