Why Kenyan footballers can now dream of playing in the EPL
Kenyan footballers could soon stand a better chance of securing dream moves to the English Premier League following reports that top-flight English teams are on the brink of striking a deal with the Football Association (FA) to ease work permit regulations for overseas players.
The Daily Mail has reported that if these plans are rubber-stamped by the FA and government, EPL clubs would be permitted to have up to three players in their squads who would not require work permits.
This rule would open the door for the likes of forwards Micheal Olunga and Ayub Timbe, plus defender Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma, considered by analysts as the best crop of football talents available in Kenya at the moment, to move to the EPL.
Ugandan forward Farouk Miya, who is currently based in Turkey, is also seen as EPL quality.
Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama was the first, and so far the only Kenyan to have played in the English Premier League.
The 28-year-old left Tottenham this week for Canada’s Montreal Impact after a seven-year stint in England.
In 2010 Wanyama’s elder sibling McDonald Mariga was denied a chance of signing for Manchester City after failing to secure a work permit.
As it stands, players outside the European Union must meet criteria such as having played a certain number of international matches before being granted a work permit by the UK government.
And the English Premier League clubs are preparing for this new landscape by investing heavily in their global scouting networks, so they can strike when the time comes. They are now focusing on tapping talent from South America, Africa and Asia.