EU law favours Argentinians

South American-based football journalist Tim Vickery believes favourable work permit issues mean more Argentinian players are likely to come to the Premier League.

Last Updated: 01/09/14 at 10:08 Post Comment

Angel di Maria of Argentina in action during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Angel di Maria of Argentina in action during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The latest high-profile arrival has been former Rosario winger Angel di Maria, who signed for Manchester United last week from Real Madrid for over £60m.

And the ex-Benfica star could be joined by compatriot Marcos Rojo shortly, but that deal is currently being delayed because of issues off the field.

Vickery has not been surprised by the increase of Argentinian players in European football though, with many of them coming from Italian backgrounds.

“The main reason is the ease that they have to get work permits,” Vickery told Sky Sports News HQ.

“That’s a big problem for South American players wanting to come to the Premier League. You have to either an established international player with your national team or you have to have an EU passport. And because of the huge influx of Italian immigrants to Argentina, there are many more Argentines who can get that EU passport. That’s why we have many more Argentines coming in than Brazilians coming in.”

Vickery has watched with interest di Maria’s progress since he first came to prominence with the Argentina U20 team seven years ago.

The 26-year-old earned a move from Rosario to Benfica, before making a major impact at Real Madrid.

Vickery said: “I remember him in the Argentine U20 side in 2007. And he was a flier – all aboard the Rosario express. He was a winger, an out and out winger, he’s play in spurts, he could be very enthusiastic but very frustrating.

“What’s happened to him over the subsequent seven years is that he has become not just a flier, he’s now a footballer. He’s become a midfielder and team player, two points that Louis van Gaal stressed last week when he was being bought.

“And we saw that in his debut. But he’s now a midfielder He cannot only run with the ball at great pace, he can also cut in and cover his left-back or his wing-back, and he can pass over range. Watching his development has been very exciting. I think he’ll really excite the fans at Old Trafford.

“When he first joined Benfica he said ‘I want to do well enough at Benfica in order to go to Chelsea’. An unorthodox thing to say when you are presented at a new club and he’s taken a roundabout route via Real Madrid to Manchester United.”

While Rojo’s £16million move to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon has been protracted, it is not unusual for English clubs to face problems with such signings due to third-part ownership of the players.

“The situation in South America is you’ve got clubs that are in a weak economic position,” Vickery added. “

"But they produce the most valuable commodity in football, which is promising young players who you can make money out of them in the long run. So investment firms only really take advantage of the weak position of the clubs by getting a stake in those young players. That’s where the third-party ownership comes from.

“And the worrying thing about it, I think, apart from the bureaucratic problems it creates with English football where it’s frowned upon, the worrying thing from my point of view is when these deals take place, when the big money is handed over, that money leaves football. That money isn’t going to the club that nurtured him that money is going to the investment fund that took advantage of the weak economic position of the club to get a stake in the player.”

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

ll he wants are sharks with frickin lazers on their heads. Is that too much to ask?

mufc phil
Bomb threat on FIFA D-day

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

Footer 365

Craig Cathcart out to build on a special 12 months

Northern Ireland and Watford defender Craig Cathcart wants to build on a memorable year for club and country.

Tim Sherwood defends Arsene Wenger's record at Arsenal

Tim Sherwood has praised Arsene Wenger's Arsenal record ahead of the FA Cup final after past criticism of the Frenchman.

Arsene Wenger keen to focus on future ahead of FA Cup final

Arsene Wenger will continue to look to the future, rather than reflect on past glories, if Arsenal can win his sixth FA Cup.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company