Report: Stoke manager Hughes reveals that Agudelo won’t join in January

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The surprising news earlier this week that Juan Agudelo’s work permit application was denied has cost him a chance to join Stoke City in the English Premier League in January.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Stoke manager Mark Hughes reiterated his disappointment but said the club will continue their search for another striker in January. Agudelo had signed a pre-contract to join the English club in early August with his current contract with Major League Soccer set to run out at the end of the 2013 season.

“No doubt somebody in Europe will pick (Agudelo) up and he will be a sensation somewhere else, unfortunately,” Hughes told the Stoke Sentinel. “We are still in the market for other players as well. The focus hasn’t all been on just one player.”

Stoke, who already have three American players on the books, are currently teetering on the edge of the relegation zone in the Premier League. Hughes’ 17th-placed side are only above Fulham on goal difference with each having accrued 10 points from 11 games, and with only ten goals scored as well, Stoke fans have been calling for improvements in the strike force.

“We are looking at all situations,” Hughes said of the team’s need for a forward. “Most clubs are looking at players not involved and most are open to a loan deal or we can bring them in permanently. We don’t close the door on anything.  We have been looking for another striker since the summer and that has been well documented. We continue to look in those areas.”

Though he struggled with injuries all season split between Chivas USA and the New England Revolution, 20-year-old Agudelo was originally thought to be a potential boost to Stoke’s stumbling attack. When healthy, the young forward was key attacker for his clubs, scoring nine goals and adding three assists in 22 games.

Despite his age, Agudelo has made 17 appearances already for the U.S. Men’s National Team, but has only been capped twice under current head coach Jurgen Klinsmann since the start of 2012. The lack of recent caps is a likely reason for why his work permit application was denied by the UK Home Office.

Agudelo and Stoke learned on Wednesday that his application had been declined with no hope of an appeal.

Now a free agent once more, the Colombian-born forward could still move overseas to a European league in January, with Spain, France, and Holland all as distinct possibilities.


What do you think of this news? Disappointed that Stoke won’t sign Agudelo and loan him out to another team? Did you expect this when you heard Agudelo’s work permit was denied?

Share your thoughts below.

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33 Responses to Report: Stoke manager Hughes reveals that Agudelo won’t join in January

  1. Jeff Carter says:

    Mid table Germany, please. Or Holland. Or somewhere slightly more hipster

    • Chris says:

      Definitely Holland. They have a great track record of developing young attacking players.

      • Kingsley Alexander says:

        Yeah Holland. Though Germany is equally known for developing talent, it would be a lot easier to break through and see minutes for a Dutch team.

    • Lost in Space says:

      Holland or France would be very good for his development.

  2. Matt says:

    This is all for the best. Now he’ll go somewhere where he might actually play.

  3. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    May I say this… The best thing about this story is Juan’s attitude about the entire thing. The kid is only 20, but wow, what a class act. He’ll be fine.

  4. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    English football is becoming more xenophobic by the day. Hopefully they get embarrassed in Brazil next summer.

    • Increase says:

      It not really just xenophobic. It is more like they are envious of what other countries can do and so they feel they need to limit outsiders to give more domestic players a chance. They actually want to import outside playing styles.

      The real problem is that football in England is that English players never leave the country anymore. There is one Enlgish player in La Liga. So despite that the English(as a people) love to travel, they are uncomfortable in “foreign” situations.

      Think about this: On Tuesday Jullian Draxler was interviewed in English before the game. The kid is 20 and yet is capable of at least giving out a basic interview.

      The English publish articles like this:
      link to

      They aren’t xenophobic but there is a reason the UK and the USA have a “special” relationship. It’s more like a discomfort anytime someone doesn’t stand in a queue.

  5. Brett Bates says:

    I would normally say that Sporting Kansas City could use him. But he was a dick the last game and not very effective.

  6. Amru says:

    read a report that Valencia is favorite to sign Agudelo, but clubs from Portugal and France are also interested

  7. Xystus says:

    If I had to make a list of the places I would like to see Agudelo go it would be like this:


    I think he could find a great situation where he getsplaying time with a good team and gets payed well. I do think him getting his work permit reject was the best thing possible, he might have ended up like Maurice Edu.

    And to think Edu had interest from France where I thought he might have success instead he chose Stoke…

  8. AlexH says:

    So what exactly is the benefit for JA in signing a “pre-contract”. It appears that Stoke is off the hook.

  9. mike says:

    speaking of educe…what is his story? does he stop eating oatcakes come January or what?

  10. mike says:

    that would be edu

  11. Sabdi says:

    He dodged a bullet there.
    Why would anybody want to go to Stoke? is it for their wining record or they long history of player development?

    • Riggity says:

      There willingness to give American’s a shot is one thing…

    • GW says:


      The question is who is a better judge of talent and character, you or Mark Hughes?

      Do you guys think Hughes is doing this because he is stupid?

      Hughes runs a club facing relegation. He does not have time to f++k around.
      Hughes spent x amount of money and spent x amount of time and effort trying to get Agudelo. This leads me to believe that either he thinks Juan can play right now, which is when he needs him or that Juan can at least push his current striker pool to play better.

      I don’t know if Hughes is right about Juan or that Juan is good enough to play for Stoke or not but Hughes clearly wasn’t buying him to develop him. He has a relegation hole to dig out of.

  12. Tony says:

    Stay in mls!!!!!

  13. Sean says:

    A strong Bundesliga 2 team like Koln or 1860 with a good technical staff would be the best option for a young player of his ability and potential.

  14. John says:

    He should go to Bundesliga 3 so that Klinsmann will call him in. Then he can get enough caps for the work permit.

  15. KJ says:

    Wow, capped 17 times already? That slipped right past me. How does England get any foreign players with that stupid rule? How many players actually meet those requirements?

    • Nick4235 says:

      The thing is England very recently, like in the last few months, has decided to tighten their rules on letting in foreign players because they finally realized they’re youth system is a mess. I don’t know if I agree with their methods but that’s the idea behind making stricter rules. Like I said this is very recent which is why this is actually getting some press in England because Stoke fans are doubting the FA will crack down on top teams as well. Actually quite an interesting situation, tho controversial and I’m sure for Juan very disappointing. A google search about it could be interesting if your entertained by that.

      • John says:

        link to

        The real question is why are so many young English players on the bench for Premier league clubs when they should be in the Championship. It’s as if these clubs want to have these kids on there roster to point to as developing English players. However they aren’t actually good enough to start so they waste away on the bench.