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Mo Salah will qualify for a work permit, will not need a roster spot this season

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Curious about Mo Salah's work permit status and how he fits into the squad? Read on.

Ian Walton

Several questions have been popping up quite a bit since Chelsea announced that they'd reached an agreement with Basel over the transfer of Mo Salah on Thursday about his potential status in the squad. Would he be granted a work permit in England, does he fit into the 25-man FA squad, and will he be eligible for the Champions League?

Let's start by looking at the requirements to qualify a work permit in England automatically:

To be eligible for a work permit:

  • a player must have played for his country in at least 75% of its competitive 'A' team matches he was available for selection, during the two years preceding the date of the application; and
  • the player's country must be at or above 70th place in the official FIFA world rankings when averaged over the two years preceding the date of the application.

Salah now has 27 appearances for his national side, and easily meets the 75% requirement having played in all of Egypt's 'competitive' fixtures in that span. With Egypt sitting comfortably at #31 in the latest FIFA rankings, that means that Salah will qualify for a work permit when Chelsea apply. No issue there.

Lets move on to the roster, shall we? Salah is 21, and has never played for an English team, so he won't ever qualify as a homegrown player in England. Having been born June 15, 1992, he will qualify as a U21 player as far as this season's FA roster is concerned. So Salah will not occupy a roster spot between now and the end of the season, though he'll need to be added on September 1 if he's still with the club.

The Champions League is also fairly straightforward. Salah would need to occupy one of the 17 international spots available to Chelsea in order to take part, but he's not eligible to to take part for Chelsea this season due to his participation with Basel.

Hopefully this helps to clear up some of the questions you all may have had about the signing. He'll be granted a work permit, he'll be able to play all of our Premier League and FA Cup matches without requiring a roster spot, and he can't play in Europe with us this season.