The Daily Mail is reporting that Kenedy, a 19 year old Brazilian winger, has received his work permit and, as such, will be completing his transfer to a Barclays Premier League side shortly. Considering you clicked on the link to this article after reading the title, you know that Arsenal is not the BPL side signing the young Brazilian. It's Chelsea.
If you have been following Arsenal for more than 2 years or so, you would not need to have read the last three words of the title to realize Arsenal were not the purchaser.
It's been a fact of life over the last 5 or 6 years that Arsenal cannot obtain work permits for young, non-EU talents. Similarly situated clubs (*cough* Manchester United *cough*) have seemingly not suffered from the same strict guidelines as the Gunners. We crack jokes about it every now and then because if stop laughing, we might start crying.
Now you might as well add Chelsea to the list of clubs with some sort of magical influence over the UK Home Office.
In recent years Arsenal have been unable to initially secure work permits for "Get out while you still can" Joel Campbell, "Beef with pretty much all my managers" Wellington Silva, Super Ryo Miyachi, and Samuel Galindo, among others. Just two preseasons ago, Arsenal was unable to sign Sebastian Perez, a young Colombian deep-lying playmaker they brought on trial, due to a work permit hold up.
The typical rule of thumb for qualifying as a "special talent", for our club at least, has been multiple first-team appearances for your country's senior national team. The technical rule is having played in at least 75% of your national team's matches over the past two years, but that strict rule is rarely followed it seems.
Kenedy clearly did not fall under the strict requirement as he has yet to feature for the senior Brazilian national team. He has played for Fluminense in the Brazilian league and featured in various level of Brazil's youth national teams.
Joel Campbell had become a mainstay in the Costa Rican national side long before he finally got his work permit.
Wellington Silva, a similarly exciting prospect from Fluminenese, who, like Kenedy, had also played for the senior squad a handful of times (admittedly less, but he was younger), just now got his work permit to play in England.
Sebastian Perez was a mainstay in the best team in the Colombian league and featured for Colombia's youth teams.
It can't sit well with Arsene Wenger and those in the youth development set-up at Arsenal that, once again, a rival was able to obtain a work permit for a top prospect where they have so often failed. While it appears none of those youth prospects are going to make it at Arsenal, there's no telling how being sent out on loan affected their development. Wellington Silva, in particular, had a horrid time at each of the clubs he played for before Almeria last season. It seems hard to develop a young prospect at a club that really is only interested in what you provide right now, in that season.
What's the difference between these prospects? Oh, I don't know. There's probably logical explanations for why our prospects did not get their permits (Chelsea and United fans would likely point to where each of those players are right now, which, valid) and prospects from other clubs did, but it's way more fun to cry CONSPIRACY.