Squad retention, 1 September 2021

Now that the transfer window has closed I can lock down (hopefully) definitive versions of the squad churn graphics I’ve been updating during the summer. I say ‘hopefully’ because there are always a few I miss or aren’t widely reported, so apologies if this has happened.

I’ve harvested the data from the official retained lists, the BBC transfer page, Transfermarkt, Twitter and matchday squads from this season, so hopefully I haven’t missed anyone.

You can see the all the information that I’ve compiled in a Google Sheet here – please let me know via Twitter if you think I’ve gotten anything wrong.


There’s a brief explanation of how these work at the top of each graphic, but in summary I’ve plotted a donut chart for each club where every player’s share of their league minutes from 2020-21 is represented by separate segment, ordered from largest to smallest. I’ve then shaded them dark if they’re still at the club and light if they’ve left, so you can see at a glance how regularly a team’s retained and departed players featured last season.

Graphics for each division

There were two clubs who retained players collectively responsible for over 97% of their league minutes in 2020-21: Premier League champions Manchester City and newly-promoted Sutton in League 2.

Those two were among nine sides who still have all of their 11 most-used players from last term on their books at the time of writing. Five of the other seven are Premier League teams, with Birmingham and Preston the only EFL teams to achieve this.

There are four clubs who have lost more than two-thirds of last season’s minutes: a pair in each of Leagues 1 and 2. Swindon have the most-changed squad of all with just 30.0% of minutes remaining, followed by Ipswich in the division above with 30.6%. Leyton Orient (32.4%) and Doncaster (32.8%) are the other two.