Stoke City announce Agudelo pre-contract agreement

Juan Agudelo

By KEVIN KOCZWARA

New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo has officially signed a pre-contract agreement with English Premier League side Stoke City and the young forward is set to join the Potters after his contract with the Revs expires on Dec. 31, reports the club’s official website. But, even though the pre-contract has been signed, the 20-year-old forward could still move to Britannia Stadium before Jan. 1, 2014, if the EPL side can agree on a transfer price with the Revs and Major League Soccer.

Sources have told SBI that Stoke has made an offer for Agudelo to the Revolution and MLS to bring the forward to the Britannia Stadium before his contract expires.

Agudelo will join fellow Americans Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Brek Shea at Stoke City either in January when his contract begins or sooner if an agreement can be reached on a transfer.

“We’ve put a lot of work into this deal, and I am delighted that we have managed to get the deal over the line,” Stoke manager Mark Hughes told the team’s official website on Friday.

“It’s a good deal for us, because he is a very good young player who boasts a lot of talent as well as a lot of potential too,” Hughes continued.

Hughes currently has a forward core of Peter Crouch, Jon Walters, Cameron Jerome and Kenwyne Jones at his disposal, and Agudelo will provide the Potters with a speedier option up front and add a different dimension to the team’s forwards.

Agudelo was traded to New England from Chivas USA in exchange for exchange for allocation money on May 7. The U.S. Men’s National Team pool forward scored three goals in five appearances for the team before picking up an injury in the Revs’ quarterfinal U.S. Open Cup game against D.C. United, which the team lost, 3-1, on June 15.

Agudelo will join fellow USMNT forward Jozy Altidore, who joined Sunderland earlier this summer, in the EPL next season, becoming the latest young forward to try his hand in England’s top division.

What do you think of Agudelo’s decision to join Stoke City? Think it’s a good fit for the forward?

Share your thoughts.

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44 Responses to Stoke City announce Agudelo pre-contract agreement

  1. ThaDeuce says:

    I guess he’ll be replacing Dempsey as a Nats starter up top… Since he is challenging himself at the higher level. :p

    In all honesty I am excited Agudelo is challenging himself, he needs to. I don’t think he’ll start, but with hard work maybe he will get minutes. he needs to have a good attitude, keep his head down, and work hard. if so, who knows, he might be the next Clint Dempsey in 5 years.

    • ThaDeuce says:

      Always with the moderation…..

      Anywho, if he makes the most of his chances he could rise in the depth chart. I’m definitely cheering for him, it will be thrilling to see him on the pitch and I hope he gets his chance. No telling what mark Hughes is thinking. He has a path to choose, Adu or Deuce

  2. David says:

    Stoke is the new Fulham

  3. biff says:

    Not sure a move to Stoke after a very uneventful two yeas in MLS is in Agudelo’s best interest for his future development. Maybe a second division league in England or Germany or smaller league, such as the Dutch. But the money was probably better at Stoke and wishing Agudelo all the best at Stoke. I will not be surprised to see him converted into an attacking midfielder.

    The Revs/MLS would be totally foolish if they hold Agudelo until January 1. Would make more sense to let him go now and collect a bit of transfer money.

    • TomG says:

      Not if they want to make the playoffs.

      • slowleftarm says:

        They aren’t going anywhere. They stink.

        • PSU says:

          Even though they stink, there’s still a good chance they make the playoffs.

          • AS says:

            I believe NY will still get most of a transfer fee if there is one (unsure on this though) – and if this is the case. They really have no reason to let him go (because the fee will be minimal)

            • TomG says:

              NY is offering to split the fee with NE under the 50% of a little bit is better than 80%of squadoosh principle.

    • CASportsDev says:

      Spot on. Agudelo wasn’t sold and since he can get a work permit in England he could basically have gone to any league. Shea and Edu were much better in MLS than Agudelo yet still can’t break into the regular rotation so Stoke seems a bold and perhaps foolish choice… especially if he wants to make the World Cup squad.

      IMO Agudelo should have gone to Holland, France or Germany. All you have to do is look at how much Jozy and Bradley have benefited from playing in the Dutch league, where nobody bothers to play defense.

      • GW says:

        CA,

        Do you have any knowledge of offers for Juan from Holland, France or Germany?

        Because if no one from there offered him a job then he can’t go there right?

        Hughes seems very high on Juan. There are other Americans already at Stoke. Juan doesn’t have any attacking heroes that he is replacing.
        Overall, those are good things for Juan.

        It really helps if the club you go to really wants you.

      • the original jb says:

        For me, Agudelo’s potential is thru the roof. I actually think he will do better playing with more skilled players. He stepped onto the field (what 2 yrs ago?) as a sub with the senior USNT and scored a beauty of a goal against Argentina. What I don’t know about is his work ethic in training, but if he is willing to put in the work, my guess is that he sees serious playing time within1-2 yrs, and is moving on to bigger club in 2-3 yrs.

      • Hogatroge says:

        You’re overlooking 2 points:

        1.) Edu & Shea were brought in by the previous coach. Mark Hughes (previously of QPR) specifically wanted Agudelo.

        2.) Agudelo plays a different position than Edu & Shea, even though Juan played on the wing some in MLS.

  4. TomG says:

    Good that they want him early and dont see him as exclusively a developmental player. The Adu comps keep popping up but I don’t see them as relevant at all. So much of Freddie’s problems have been his lack of a true position and his lack of size and speed. Juan doesn’t have any issues on those fronts.

    • Todd Marsch says:

      Totally agree. Agudelo might not fulfill his potential, but if he doesn’t, it will be for different reasons than Adu.

    • GW says:

      The Adu comparison is NOT apt because, and I think everyone forgets this, Freddy was `17 when he moved to Benfica. Juan is 20 and there is a real big difference between 20 and 17.

      Even if Fredinho was a pro since he was 14 , surely everyone can relate to that.

      As best as I can tell, Juan has had enough ups and downs in his brief career to be a bit more mature and realistic than Adu was.

      Hughes didn’t buy Agudelo to develop him per se. He thinks Juan is good enough so that he can be a contributor fairly soon, i.e. this season or next. So Juan needs to do a Clint, get acclimated and start scoring. Or he will wind up somewhere else.

      Hughes does not have the luxury of a Verbeek at AZ where it is expected that he will teach his players.

      Hughes was brought in to be JK to their BB, i.e. change them over to a more attractive style.
      Like all EPL managers not named Wenger, Hughes is on a short leash.
      .

  5. Strider257 says:

    I’ll be really impressed if he get playing time with the team in the near future. I would expect him to get loaned out to a Championship team to get some playing time and develop.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Why? Stoke’s strikers are hardly world beaters.

      • GW says:

        You might remember the USMNT has a striker named Jozy who did not score for nearly two years.

        At the time he was scoring them by the bucketful for his club team. Then the USMNT got their offensive scheme better adjusted and all of a sudden that Jozy guy scores four goals in four games in a row. Big games too.

        The point is, SLF, that since Stoke ain’t been set up to make use of their strikers, it might be pretty hard to evaluate them properly.

      • Pepe says:

        Crouch is no Falcao, but he’s certainly better than Agudelo.

        • TomG says:

          Yes but extremely different than Agudelo. He might be able to provide a change of pace off the bench

      • Phil B says:

        Their defenders and midfielders are also hardly world beaters, and Cameron, Edu, and Shea have found playing time hard to come by, let alone starts.

        Cameron has had more opportunities than the others, yet he still found himself coming off the bench towards the end of the season.

        I’m not saying it’s a terrible move, but I’m not sold on it being a great career move. I could see Agudelo going the way of Eddie Johnson.

  6. Mike R says:

    A move to Stroke is a bad move for him. By next year he will be looking to get a loan to a lower club for playing time. In two years he will be back in MLS looking for playing time. That is if he’s career isn’t hacked out from underneath him. He should have went to Holland or even Mex.

    • Gary Page says:

      I can see you are a real half full glass kind of guy. Have a little confidence in our players. Maybe Mark Hughes knows more than you do.

    • Gary Page says:

      I can see you are a real gl@ss half full kind of guy. Have a little confidence in our players. Maybe Mark Hughes knows more than you do.

  7. Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

    Agudelo is featuring very prominently on Stoke’s website (http://www.stokecityfc.com) . They have two headlines on him: a news story on the transfer and a full player profile that is full of hype. It looks like Hughes is pretty excited about him. I bet he plays. Crouch is like a giraffe on roller skates. If Agudelo can keep his head straight, his ego down, and his body uninjured, even if he doesn’t start, he’s see lots of first team minutes.

    On a different note, Edu is not even on the team roster on the Stoke web site. Mo needs to get to a place where he can actually see the field quick. Barring crazy team injuries, he won’t even dress for Stoke.

    • SilverRey says:

      JuAg has enormous potential, you just have to hope that this move focuses him some. 4 teams – 3 years, let’s hope he “Altidore’s” some in England.

    • TomG says:

      I think the body uninsured pint is a big one, especially in a league as physical as BPL. He’s struggled a lot with nagging injuries.

    • Leo says:

      Giraffe on roller skates, spot on.

  8. Like Jozy before him, Agudelo will do fine. US Soccer fans put way too much pressure on our young players. Again, go read up on Drogba’s stats when he started. He did not hit his stride until he was Jozy’s age. Now, Jozy is hitting his stride. I think he is going to continue to do well going forward.

    Agudelo is one of our more creative players on the field. As long as he keeps his instincts to be creative in what will be a challenging environment, he should do fine. He is going to have learn that he only gets one chance a game to finish.

    Good for him. Good for Juan Carlos Asorio for introducing him to MLS.

    • Dsgntd_Plyr says:

      “Again, go read up on Drogba’s stats when he started. He did not hit his stride until he was Jozy’s age. Now, Jozy is hitting his stride. I think he is going to continue to do well going forward.”

      SAF has said strikers don’t start peaking until they’re 24, so it’s tough to tell how a guy’s career will pan out until that age.

      • Gary Page says:

        Unless your name is Messi, of course.

      • TomG says:

        Drogs and Jozy are huge guys while Juan has good size but is comparatively smaller and quicker. I think big guys hit their stride later as strength and physique continue to improve in the late twenties while speed tends to decline.

        • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

          Jozy is listed at 6’1″ 174
          Juan is listed at 6′ 1″ 183
          Drogba is listed at 6′ 2″ 201

        • GW says:

          TomG,

          There are many exceptions to that “rule of the thumb” you are proposing.

          Any successful player, regardless of their size and position, “hits their stride” when their “brains” finally catch up with their “talent”. When that happens varies with each player.

          Juan already has everything he needs to be an effective EPL level forward. He just needs to be consistent. Whether Stoke is the club where all the factors are in place for that to happen remains to be seen.

  9. Al_OC says:

    How is he going to get his work permit? He hasn’t played with the USMNT in a while.

    • Lost in Space says:

      Same way that Cameron got his….the USNT coach will say something to the effect that if he (Agudelo) had been healthy he would have recieved calls to play with the NT. Bradley made the case for Cameron….JK will make the case for Agudelo.