European work permits after Brexit – How will this affect Arsenal?

One situation to be discussed within English Football is the introduction of European players needing a work permit to play in the UK once Brexit is completed. Currently those not in Europe have to prove they are internationally established and/or will contribute to the highest level of the game.

Famously that’s why we couldn’t sign Yaya Touré as youngster, and why Edu’s transfer took so long to finalise.

Spanish and Portuguese clubs have a policy of snapping up some of the best youth talent in South America as they can’t be outpriced by the Premiership.

Arsenal Wenger was always against the idea of where you played being based on where you are born. Whenever the subject of foreign quotas being implemented across, he argued it was against a person’s human rights and hence not lawful.

To meet the criteria for a work permit, you have to have represented your nation over a percentage of time (based on where your League is ranked by FIFA).

For example, you must have played for Brazil 30 percent of the time based over 2 years, 1 year if you’re under 21. If you don’t meet these criteria, you go to a panel who weigh up other factors on a points system.

The transfer fee being paid, the wage on offer, what League that player is currently at and percentage of game time will all be used to clarify if you will contribute to the British game.
Put it this way, a Mbappe, Neuer, Ramos, etc are not going to struggle to get these documents, just like currently a Messi and Neymar are not.

Essentially if you are established for your country you are fine, and even if not if you’re playing weekly in a La Liga, Bundesliga, etc it’s not an issue.

Many fans will feel happy about this. It lets the best talent come to these shores yet British kids won’t have their paths blocked by someone they are just as good as.

That’s fine if you’re a Man City or Chelsea who’s transfer strategy is to throw money around but what if you have an owner with zero ambition? Under Stan Kroenke, Arsene Wenger (now Arteta) had to use his knowledge of the world ‘s market to find a bargain.

I’m not saying the majority of Mr Wenger signings wouldn’t have met the guidelines, but he was so great at finding value that some famous names might never have been allowed to have worked in London.

For example, a Vieira, Anelka, Fabregas, Van Persie all would have had to have gone to a panel. Van Persie had played 61 times for Feyenoord so might have been okay, but the other three would be touch and go. That would have altered history.

We would have to have waited till they become huge names, to then pay over the odds for talent originally you could have got for a couple of million.

Guendouzi was brought from the French 2nd division. He would have struggled to get the work permit.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that some clubs rely on having scouts who find gems. We have always been a club more likely to sign a teenager never heard of and make him a star then spend 90 million on a superstar. There’s something beautiful in working with someone raw and helping him meet his potential. That’s more of a priority then making it easier for your home-grown players to have a path to the first team. I’m sorry but it shouldn’t be easy. If someone is better then you at your job then find a level that suits you. Cream rises to the top.

We have been criticised as a club for signing not enough British players, yet when Ashley Cole and Jack Wilshire broke through, they got every chance because they were good enough. I can’t think of many British talents that we have sent away who truly proved us wrong?

Gooners, what do you think about European Players needing to prove they are good enough to play in England? Will that not harm our transfer strategy?

Be kind in the comments…

Dan Smith

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