UEFA has updated the squads for the spring phase of the UEFA Europa League, with the arrivals of the likes of Ricardo Quaresma and Philippe Senderos adding even more class to an impressive field.
Under Article 18(18–21) of the competition's official regulations, clubs can register up to three new players by 1 February, one of whom can have been fielded in a UEFA club competition group stage match for another side in the current season provided he has not played in the UEFA Europa League. Clubs may not exceed the maximum of 25 A-list players and must also keep to the quota of locally trained players.
Quaresma rejoins FC Porto after a six-year absence, the forward – once nicknamed 'Harry Potter' for his technical wizardry – helping to swell the ranks following the departures of fellow thirtysomethings Lucho González (to al-Rayyan) and Marat Izmailov (Qäbälä FK). SL Benfica are also two men down on their autumn complement, Ola John having headed to Hamburger SV while midfielder Nemanja Matić returned to Chelsea FC. The Serb's new Stamford Bridge team-mates include winger Mohamed Salah – a significant absence from FC Basel 1893's squad as they eye another long run in this tournament.
Having come through the group stage with a maximum 18 points, Tottenham Hotspur FC have allowed midfielder Lewis Holtby to join London rivals Fulham FC on loan, and while the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League's five-goal joint-top scorer Jermain Defoe remains in the fold, the striker is scheduled to begin a new adventure in Canada with Toronto FC from 28 February.
Final hosts Juventus have had a relatively quiet winter, with only one name reinforcing the roster, on-loan Southampton FC forward Pablo Osvaldo. Elsewhere there are defensive changes at SSC Napoli: Fabio Cannavaro will spend the spring at Sassuolo Calcio, while one-time FC Barcelona man Henrique – returning to Europe after a spell in his native Brazil with SE Palmeiras – boosts the numbers along with Algeria defender Faouzi Ghoulam, signed from AS Saint-Étienne, and former Olympique Lyonnais right-back Anthony Réveillère.
Senderos is back in UEFA club competition with Valencia CF, the erstwhile Arsenal FC defender having landed on loan from Fulham, with ex-FC Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita another newcomer at Mestalla.
Former AFC Ajax defensive midfielder Hedwiges Maduro, meanwhile, is a notable new recruit at PAOK FC, who – together with FC Anji – have removed no fewer than eight players from the squad that took them through the group stage.
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