Posted: November 12, 2013 in Sport

So will the authorities help the Premier League bring the cream of Nigeria’s U17 world champions to England? Or will it be business as usual – blocking clubs from signing African teenage talent and in the process seeing millions leave the country in the future as these same players are finally bought from foreign teams for huge fees. Its folklore now, but Chelsea duo John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien could’ve signed for Manchester United for nothing as teenagers, only to be blocked by UK work permit laws. In the end, they did make it to England, at Chelsea, which forked out over £40 million for the pair – £28 million of which was lost to the English game. Kelechi Iheanacho, wanted by Arsenal, was voted the tournament’s MVP, while his captain, Musa Mohamed, targeted by Liverpool and the Blues, was superb in the final against Mexico. They’ve grown up in Nigeria Premier League fans, they want to move to England. Rather than making it more difficult for such talent to gain a work permit, the game should be doing everything in it’s power to make it as easy as possible for clubs to compete for these players and so keeping more money in the country.


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