Arsenal to pay £45m for a work-permit-less not-so-Supermac we can’t even spell?

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Arsenal to pay £45m for a work-permit-less not-so-Supermac we can’t even spell?

The Gunners are ready to pay out £45m on a Brazilian called Malcom, according to many sources, although one source claims that the player in question is Malcolm.

Many Arsenal fans with long memories may wish it were Malcolm MacDonald Mark II, who cost a whopping £333,333 back in 1976. ‘Supermac’, as he was called, scored every other game after joining from Newcastle. It was a huge coup for the Gunners to bring in a player of his calibre, someone who had scored all five goals for England against Cyprus the year before.

Fast forward 42 years and, if the stories currently circulating are true, Arsenal are looking at splashing a huge amount of money on a player who is relatively unknown. The diminutive 20-year-old Malcom from Brazil is hardly likely to make the instant impact that Supermac or indeed the outgoing Sanchez made at Arsenal. The Bordeaux winger, with 15 goals in 67 appearances for his club, may be one for the future, but he is not going to rock the Emirates next season.

More importantly, to get a UK work permit, Malcom must have played in 30% or more of Brazil’s matches in the last two years. Therefore, unless he has dual nationality, it is unlikely that UK Immigration will allow Malcom to don an Arsenal shirt. If reports are true, and I have my doubts, then Malcom would be shipped off to Europe for a while (like his compatriot Wellington was) and may never return.

Surely Arsenal can do better than that in the transfer market. Already the world of football has been ‘rocked to its very foundations’ by the arrival of the wonderkid from Greek side PAS Giannina for around £2m (the same fee that the winning-medal-less Abou Diaby cost many moons ago). Well, it’s funny how Konstantinos Mavropanos was going to be loaned out and now was so impressive in training that Arsene Wenger has decided to keep him for the rest of the season. It’s good to be flexible, of course, but it makes you wonder if anyone knows what they are doing at the club, particularly when it comes to transfers. The verdict on Arsenal’s transfer activity to date: so far, so bad.

About the Author:

The Loose Cannon (TLC) is a labour of love set up by the former FromTheTerrace managing editor and freelance Sky News football pundit, Joe Broadfoot. I know I'm opinionated and a bit left-field, but other contributors are most welcome to send in their opinions, news pieces and so on regarding Arsenal FC for potential publication. Don't forget, if you've got something to write about Arsenal, it would be great to hear from you!


  1. Jay January 14, 2018 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Aiii….surely you would know about special talent visa granted?

    It’s almost a given just like Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison.

    The 45 million transfer fee pretty much buys you that work permit.

    • Joe January 14, 2018 at 5:33 am - Reply

      Takuma Asami, a full international for Japan, could not get a work permit. He was shipped out to VfB Stuttgart on loan, remember? He cost £5m and Wenger said if he cost £50m he would have got a work permit, so maybe you’re right. I wouldn’t bank on it, though, as Arsenal are not getting the rub of the green with officials lately!

  2. SM January 14, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Umm… clearly you missed the rather large development in English football 2 years ago where the criteria were reevaluated and players bought for 10 million or more no longer needed work permits.

    • Joe January 14, 2018 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Didn’t miss that, actually. The criteria, as far as I understand it, are more complicated than you think. Check out for details. In one sense, you are right that the larger the transfer fee, the easier it is to circumvent the rules about appearing internationally. If enough money is shelled out, a player can gain points which will help his appeal against not getting a work permit, but that is no guarantee that the application will be successful.

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