Reports in Belgium have stated that Aston Villa has agreed to a £ 8.5 million deal to bring Tanzania Mbwana striker Ally Samatta to the club from the Jupiler Pro Racing Club Genk team.
Samatta has scored ten goals this season for Genk in the Belgian league and will replace injured striker Wesley in Villa.
Although, according to reports, a fee was agreed, Samatta has not yet signed personal terms at Villa. This should be a formality, but there is another obstacle. Like other current Villa players, including Marvelous Nakamba and Douglas Luiz, Samatta will have to seal a UK work permit to play in the club.
Essentially, that means that even if an agreement is closed within 24 hours, Samatta will probably not be available to start Villa against Brighton over the weekend.
Before diving, there is an alternative solution. As the player has been living and working in Belgium since 2016, there is a possibility that the player has applied for Belgian citizenship and an EU passport. This is currently unclear.
The forward has been enjoying his time in European football, but if a transfer to England is approved, Samatta will have to approve the strict rules that apply to players who are not from the EU, who do not have EU passports, They will essentially have a job and will be working in England once the transfer is complete.
As Tanzania is outside the European Union and the European Economic Area, Samatta will need permission to work in the United Kingdom.
However, how will Samatta obtain a work permit? The UK Ministry of Interior applies a point-based system, and clubs have to request from the Football Association a ‘Endorsement of the Governing Body’, which acts as an exemption, allowing the Ministry of Interior and FA to allow a work permit is granted. .
Passing the points system means that a work permit is offered, but that only happens for players who are high-ranking internationals for nations that are in the top ten in the FIFA World Ranking. You will not see Tanzania there, for now. FIFA’s highest ranking in Tanzania was 70th, in 1995. They are currently 134th. This means that Samatta will have to collect enough points through a series of other criteria.
For example, Samatta will earn points if he plays in a high percentage of available minutes for Genk, he will earn points for playing in the European and international competition for Tanzania (although due to his low FIFA ranking, he must have played more games to say – a Argentine forward). He will earn points for earning a ‘qualified salary’, a salary higher than the average that shows the player has a certain value, and will earn points for the transfer fee paid.
Even if Samatta does not approve the point-based system described by the Ministry of Interior, he will still have the opportunity for an FA Exceptions Panel to review and grant an ‘Endorsement of the Governing Body’ if Villa files an appeal.
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There are a number of things that are in favor of Samatta, and although it is likely that an appeal should be made, it is guaranteed that the games for Aston Villa will begin. Villa needs a striker and this will also be filed on any appeal. Samatta will be well paid and is subject to a decent transfer fee, and is also a fairly high profile player in Belgium, who has played in several games with long international experience.
There may be some problems along the way for Samatta before joining Villa, but if you manage to get a work permit, you can play for the Villans.
However, it may not be in time for this weekend’s game, and there is a possibility that it will not be completed by the Watford game on the 21st.