Arsenal apply for permit for Botelho

Arsenal are hoping to strengthen their senior squad ahead of the new season by bringing on-loan Brazilian Pedro Botelho back to Emirates Stadium.

Botelho has spent the last three seasons away from the Gunners in an effort to fulfil the conditions necessary for an EU citizenship visa.

During 2009/10 Botelho was a key member of the Celta Vigo team which reached the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. The former Figueirense man made a total of 27 appearances for the Segunda División side, scoring one goal.

Previously Botelho spent time at Salamanca with whom Arsenal struck an accord as a means of providing them with a European base to nurture the incessant line of young talent that the club invests in.

Mexican forward Carlos Vela was the first player to reap the rewards of this relationship.

And now Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who secured the services of Botelho in 2007, wishes to integrate the 20-year-old in his first team setup too.

As a result, the Gunners have submitted a work permit application for the promising left-back in the hope that an ‘outstanding talent’ clause in the regulations will allow Botelho to finally don the Arsenal shirt.

However, should Wenger fail in his attempt to win the player a permit, Botelho’s future will be uncertain.

A fourth season on loan is a possibility but, should the revered Frenchman receive a substantial offer for the Brazilian’s services, a permanent transfer away from the Emirates Stadium outfit is likely.

By Jonathan Gilbert

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