Report: Kenneth Omeruo granted work permit in England

Clive Mason

The young Nigerian defender is now free to play in England, according to reports

Work permits have been a big issue of late with all this talk of Bertand Traore, but another African-born Chelsea player was also in need of paperwork from the government in order to play for the club. Kenneth Omeruo needed a permit in order to play in England, and today he reportedly received some very good news:

"Kenneth has been granted a five-year work permit by the British Home Office. It’s a big breakthrough."

This is huge news for Omeruo, as this now means he can potentially remain at Chelsea this season. If he's sent back out on loan, this also opens the door for him to remain somewhere in England should the club choose to go that route.

At 19, Omeruo will never qualify as either association or club trained by UEFA standards, but I believe he'll still eventually qualify as homegrown by FA standards (although the specific language involved does leave some confusion about his future status). He'd qualify as U21 this season and won't take up a roster spot if he remains in England, and with the way he's played for Nigeria of late, he'll likely be a very attractive option for many clubs if Mourinho doesn't keep him.

It will be interesting to see what the future hold for Omeruo, as he's probably developed beyond the point where playing U21 football will do anything for him. He's certainly capable of pushing the injured Tomas Kalas for minutes at Chelsea right now, and a loan to a Premier League side wouldn't seem at all unreasonable. The fact that Chelsea went through the effort to get this paperwork done seems to indicate that they're leaning this way if they don't keep the player, so it will be a situation worth watching in the next few weeks.

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