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Arsene Wenger feels restrictions on non-European Union players should be scrapped

2.29K   //    24 Jan 2015, 00:21 IST
Arsene Wenger needs Home Office approval to sign Gabriel Paulista

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger strongly feels that the restrictions put on Non- European Union players should be lifted, in the light of his attempts to sign Villareal center half Gabriel Paulista. Wenger revealed that the Home Office criteria had prevented him from signing Manchester United’s Angel Di Maria nine years ago. The French manager revealed that he had identified Di Maria’s potential when he was only 17 year old but could not bring him to England due to work permit issues. 

Wenger said, “We had identified Di Maria when he was 17 in an international competition.

"But he went to Portugal, and from Portugal he went to Spain. Why? Because he could not get a work permit for England, so that meant you could only get him to England once he was worth a huge amount of money."

In the current scenario, Arsene Wenger needs approval of the Home Office to complete the signing of Gabriel Paulista specifically because the 24-year-old is yet to represent Brazil. 

Arsene Wenger criticizes new Home Office proposals

The Home Office has proposed that English Clubs should reduce the number of Non-European passport holders by 50 per cent in the next seasson. The idea was heavily criticized by the Gunners boss. 

He said, “Ideally it would open completely, and anyone could come in."

The work permit requirement for non-EU passport holders is that they should represent a country ranked within FIFA’s top 70 and should have played 75 per cent of their country’s international matches in the last two years. 

The Gunners will have to now convince the Home Office to consider the case of the defender as he is an “exceptional talent”. 

Best league should have best players: Arsene Wenger

When Wenger was asked to share his opinion about the new proposal, he said it should be scrapped completely for the benefit young non-European players, and clubs which stand to gain by their services.


He said, “You could close completely the borders of the country and play only with English players. What will that do? That will kill the attractiveness of the Premier League worldwide.

"The second option is to say, look we have the best league in the world, so let's produce the best players in the world.

"One thing is for sure, if you put a young player with top-level players, he has more chance to develop. If you put him with average players he has more chance to remain average", the Gunners boss concluded. 

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