Clinton N'Jie, like many non-European Union-based players, can't just waltz into England and start playing for Tottenham Hotspur. Instead, he needed to secure a work permit in order to earn his paycheck in the UK. That hurdle has now officially been crossed.
The Premier League's regulations limit work permits to only non-EU footballers "of the highest calibre," meaning they must meet the following criteria:
- A player must have player for his country in at least 75% of its competitive A team matches of which he was available for selection, during the two years preceding the date of the application
- The player's country must be at or above 70th place in the official FIFA world rankings when averaged over the two years preceding the date of the application
Clinton has already made 11 appearances for the Cameroon national team, and Cameroon is a solid CAF country whose FIFA rank has never dipped below 65th place since 2003. By either criteria, N'Jie was a shoo-in for a permit, which is why Tottenham didn't think twice about signing him even before his work permit came through.
Now that he's "legal," Clinton is eligible for selection for Tottenham's first team squad. It's not known whether Mauricio Pochettino will throw him into the side this Saturday against Leicester at the King Power Stadium. Seems unlikely, but he could make the bench.
Clinton's new squad number, #14, also has a bit of a pedigree, having been worn during the Premier League era by David Ginola, Gus Poyet, Luka Modric, and most recently by the dearly departed Lewis Holtby.