Despite the new, far more stringent regulations regarding foreign players moving to the Premier League that were put in place at the beginning of May, a spokesperson from the Football Association has confirmed that new Liverpool signing Roberto Firmino won’t have a problem getting a work permit.
There were concerns that the 23-year old, who did not represent his country at the Confederations Cup or last summer’s World Cup, wouldn’t be approved under the new provisions. A player from a country ranked within the top ten in the world by FIFA must have played at least 30% of his country’s internationals to automatically qualify for a work permit, but a quick check of the dates confirms that he should sail right through.
“Liverpool will not apply for the work permit until after the transfer window officially opens on July 1. Confederation Cup wouldn’t count in the previous 24 months if the application is for after July 1 as that tournament finished on 30 June 2013,” an unnamed Football Association spokesperson told the Liverpool ECHO. “He’s going to get in, there’s no concern here. Quality players will get in, the regulations are there to tackle average players. It is an independent panel according to the Home Office rules albeit run through the FA but there are not expected to be any problems.”
With Firmino — who has an interesting website — already representing Brazil three times in their last ten matches — with that number expected to grow if the Selecao progress further in the Copa America, this leaves only a routine medical ahead of the Reds sealing up a move that could potentially rise to as high as £29mil based on add-ons and other bonuses. Now, take a big, deep breath and enjoy your day.