Stoke City confirm that they have failed in their attempt to secure a work permit for U.S. international Juan Agudelo. After the expiration of his contract, the 21-year-old left the New England Revolution to join Stoke in January 2014 – but has never made an appearance for the Potters.
That’s all down to the work permit issue. Agudelo was originally denied back in November 2013, but Stoke elected to sign him anyway, and sent him on loan to Eredivisie side Utrecht. There he made eight starts and came off the bench six times, scoring three goals and notching three assists. Not bad for a few months work, right?
But Agudelo’s performances in Holland weren’t enough to convince an appeals board that he should be given a work permit. It likely didn’t help that it took Agudelo some time to really get going in the Dutch league, and two of those goals weren’t scored until Utrecht’s final three matches.
The real trouble, though, may be his lack of regular appearances with the USMNT. Since 2010, Agudelo has earned 18 caps, scoring three goals along the way. His last game was on March 5, when he played the final six minutes against Ukraine, and the forward is unlikely to be on the plane to Brazil.
With the English FA now determined to place a greater emphasis on the development of homegrown talent, it may become even more difficult for young U.S. internationals to find space on Premier League squads.
Meanwhile, it is unknown what the effect will be on Agudelo’s contract with Stoke, with the club having yet explained what will happen next. It is thought he will be released from contract and become a free agent.