Long revealed, “As our biggest ally, it seems strange that a football player from the US can’t automatically get a work visa to play in England.”
“Every kid in the USA dreams of playing in the English Premier League. Not many players get the chance, so of course, I would like to play there someday.”
The 2018 MLS defender of the year has made 11 international appearances and is one outing short of qualifying for the needed permit.
Long will know not to get overly excited regarding the desire to earn a work permit. With the 26-year-old being one cap short of automatically qualifying for the permit, there may be doubts on whether or not the situation will be resolved before the deadline on Thursday. With the New York Red Bull’s only holding a £4million release clause on Long, the defender fits perfectly within the Hammers’ depleted budget, with reliable club source, Claret and Hugh reporting that Pellegrini only has £5million left to spend. Long would arrive with great pedigree too having won the 2018 MLS defender of the year award from the entire division, perfect for potential back up to both Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop. Without a slight feeling that he would receive a permit, Long would surely not have revealed he is highly hopeful that issue could be resolved, so it would come as no surprise if behind-the-scenes, West Ham officials are working tirelessly to come to some sort of deal which would allow Long to make the switch before the start of the Premier League season.