The Indian teenage sensation has impressed the Scottish outfit in his trial with the club.
According to various reports, the Indian U-17 World Cup team’s first-choice keeper and former Indian Arrows stalwart Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem has been offered a three-year contract by Scottish Premier League side Motherwell FC. The shot-stopper impressed many sides in the FIFA U-17 World Cup last year and was tracked by several clubs around the globe before deciding to go for a trial to the Scottish side.
“I am happy to know that Motherwell are happy with my progress in training and I would like to thank the coaching staff and management for this opportunity,” said Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem speaking to Scroll.in.
Despite pocketing a contract after the end of his trial stint with the club, clouds still lurk over the horizon for the starlet as a UK work permit is still not secured by the Manipuri goalkeeper.
“He has done well during his time at Motherwell and the club has offered him a three-year contract,” Singh’s agent Anuj Kichlu said before adding, “We have to now sort out the work permit which looks challenging.”
Dheeraj will be turning 18 on July 4 this year when ideally he would be eligible to sign a professional contract. However, for a player to attain a UK work permit the rules state that he/she should have been part of at least 75% of his/her country’s international games for the past two years.
The rules also require that the country of the player should have secured a ranking in the top 70 of the FIFA rankings, which makes Dheeraj ineligible to apply for a work permit on both fronts.
However, hopes are still alive for the Indian starlet as Motherwell can apply for a work permit on the player’s behalf to the governing body of football in Scotland, the Scottish Football Association, recognizing Dheeraj as a special talent in their ranks. Dheeraj will be given a work permit then, subject to the Scottish FA’s approval of the club’s appeal.
Another way could be the Scottish side signing him and sending him out on loan for at least three years in countries of eligible FIFA rankings out of the United Kingdom. Upon plying his trade abroad for at least three years, Dheeraj can be eligible to procure a UK work permit to finally play for Motherwell FC in the Scottish Premier League (SPL).
Riding on high hopes and the wishes of an entire nation, it is now to be seen how and when Dheeraj makes it big to make the country proud on foreign shores.