Watford's Al Bangura will learn status by Christmas
Watford midfielder Al Bangura will discover by Christmas whether he will be deported from the United Kingdom.
The 19-year-old appeared at an Asylum and Immigration tribunal along with club staff from the Championship leaders - including manager Adrian Boothroyd - on Monday and has been told that a decision will be made within 28 days.
Bangura - due to become a father this week - is currently out with an ankle injury. He arrived in England from war-torn Sierra Leone in 2003 and was originally given limited discretionary leave to stay.
Watford's legal representative Chris Pelentrides said: "His compassionate circumstances clearly warrant his continued stay in the United Kingdom.
"He has built up his life, having established great ties here, including a family life with his partner and a profession."
Watford MP Clare Ward believes that the threat to deport Bangura is "harsh and unfair."
She said: "This is a young man who came to this country under very difficult circumstances and as an Under-18. The threat to him is harsh and unfair.
"He clearly has an incredible talent which has been spotted and in that sense he was fortunate. He has made a very good life for himself and is a significant contributor to the UK economy and to my local economy as a constituent."