Wellington Silva can finally play for Arsenal almost five years after signing

Wellington Silva now has a Spanish passport, making him eligible to play in the UK.

Arsenal have plenty of young talent out on loan. Sometimes this is to give them first team experience other times it is to bend the rules.

In recent years a few players have been asked to ply their trade abroad while they wait a work permit. Carlos Vela spent time with Salamanca and Osasuna. Costa Rican Joel Campbell spent time currently away for similar reasons.

Another youngster who has been asked to live a rather nomadic lifestyle in his early Arsenal career has been Wellington Silva.

When Arsenal snapped up the Brazilian talent he had just starred at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup with the likes of Neymar and Philippe Coutinho. However he did not yet qualify for a work permit despite attempts to earn a ‘Special Talent Visa’. So despite joining for £3.5 million in January 2010 he has not yet played for Arsenal.

Therefore loan spells out in Spain have been the story of his Arsenal career so far.

But that could soon come to an end.

The Arsenal youngster is now eligible to play for Arsenal - after receiving his Spanish passport. The now 21-year-old Brazilian talent has been at Arsenal since 2011 but did not qualify for a work permit, spending the entirety of his spell at the club on loan in Spain.

This makes him an EU citizen, meaning he does not need to have a work permit to play in the UK.

He has told the press in Spain, where he is currently on loan at Almeria:

”Yes, I can now go to Arsenal if they want me to come back for next season. But I can’t now be thinking about the future."

“Almeria have to achieve the goal of permanence in the Primera Division. I must be thinking about this, I can’t be looking to the future.”

However Silva has struggled at times in Spain so it will be interesting to see if he actually can live up to expectations when finally getting into action with the North London club.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch