Wellington Silva has finally received a European passport.
The 22-year-old Brazilian winger signed for the Gunners in 2011, but has yet to make his debut due to work permit issues.
At his young age, he did not have the required international appearances to claim a work permit on appeal, and so the attacking midfielder has spent the last few seasons away on loan.
Spells with Levante, Alcoyano, Ponferradina, Real Murcia and currently Almeria have guaranteed consistent first-team football, and Wellington himself told Marca earlier this season that he was in talks with the Gunners over extending his contract - which expires this summer.
That news suggested that Arsene Wenger has a long-term plan for Wellington, and that plan could be put into place next season, with the winger showing off his new Spanish passport - that guarantees him the ability to play unrestricted in the European Union.
Lo bueno tarda en llegar, pero llega y lo recibo con la mayor satisfacción del mundo. Nacionalidad española !! pic.twitter.com/GWFo9wYWzB— Wellington Silva (@wsilva11) April 14, 2015
Quoted in the Tweet, Wellington said: “The good thing is slow in coming, but arrives with the greatest satisfaction in the world. Spanish nationality!”
Whilst this gives no guarantees that Wellington will be playing for Arsenal next season, it certainly speeds up the process for the winger to eventually make his debut for the club.
He has impressed in La Liga this term for a team fighting off relegation, and there could just be a place for him in Wenger’s plans at the start of the next campaign.