Foreign players will have to talk a good game under new immigration rules that are due to come into force in the autumn. Players from outside the European Union will have one year to learn English and to pass an exam to prove that they have mastered the basics. If they fail, they will be forced to pack up their boots and head home.
The measures are part of the new points-based visa system that the Government is introducing, which has been backed by Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager. “Personally, I am for the rule,” Wenger said. “I believe that 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 a country, it is very difficult if you do not speak the language.”