By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger agrees with the principles of the new ’language test’ for non-EU players and managers who move to English football, but the Arsenal manager believes he has spotted a flaw in the process.

Under a new visa system, anyone joining the game from outside the EU must demonstrate a basic knowledge of the English language before they are allocated working visas lasting three years.

A player who does not meet the requirements immediately can receive a 12-month work permit, but then must pass the test on its expiration.

Wenger understands the importance of learning English when adapting to the country culturally, but the Frenchman thinks that the 12-month grace period does slightly muddy the waters in big-money transfer situations.

"Personally I am for the rule,” said the manager ahead of his multi-lingual team’s trip to Cardiff. “I believe if you go to a foreign country you have to have the ambition to speak the language.

“If you want to understand the culture of the country it is very difficult to get into the basics if you don't speak the language.

"After one year they have to pass the test. So the difficulty for us is to buy a player for a big amount of money and know that after one year you can lose him.

"That means the player, knowing our world, could choose to have very bad English after one year if he has been tapped up by somebody. On a practical way it is not easy to sort out.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
23 Jan 2009