Why Wenger is right about work permits by KJ
Just yesterday, Arsene Wenger admitted that Arsenal were looking into signing the Brazilian centre back, Gabriel Paulista. However, the main factor preventing a quick transfer is the attainment of a work permit. The FA requires you to obtain a work permit for players born outside of the EU with appearances at international level determining the likelihood of receiving one. This ruling is being changed in the summer to players over the price of £10 million being allowed work permits, but there is still massive problems with the system, according to Wenger – and he’s right.
This need for a work permit has prevented Arsenal from signing top players on numerous occasions when they were unknown quantities. That list includes the likes of Messi, Di Maria, Yaya Toure and so on. They can’t get a work permit because they are too young to have made international appearances and it is very difficult to convince the governing bodies that these players are exceptionally talented at such a young age. This means that these players will end up in the likes of Serie A and La Liga instead.
The smaller clubs have a great opportunity at signing these non-EU players for cheap when they are young and there is always the possibility that they’ll make a phenomenal team (look at Atletico Madrid). If not, you can sell on the players to the bigger clubs around Europe and keep the process going. This can’t happen for Premier League clubs which prevents some of the smaller ones from ever achieving greatness.
The main objection to providing work permits for non-EU players is the fear that they’ll stunt the development of English talent. That is absolute rubbish. If the English players are good enough, they will always get a chance at the top level. The likes of Wilshere and Chamberlain for example would’ve still got the chances because they are just that talented. The addition of talented South Americans for example to English youth teams is actually beneficial. They can introduce a more technical play style to the youth leagues in general and force a shift away from physical football to technical football – a shift that has occurred in Spain and Germany especially. England is way behind on a youth level because of the type of football that is played – not the type of footballers that are allowed to play.
Wenger as always is spot on with the development of English football. He sees the Premier League being left behind by the others because we have too many sanctions allowing mediocre players to succeed whilst forcing great players to try their luck in Spain or Italy instead.