Stoke City continue to gripe about their failure to secure a work permit for US forward Juan Agudelo, and are left shaking their heads knowing he will likely prove himself elsewhere.
Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes expressed his exasperation at the system, but that it’s been much harder on the 21-year-old than the club.
“We are disappointed by the saga, but you must multiply that frustration by 10 for the player,” Scholes told the Stoke City Sentinel, “who will now probably play for a decent team in Europe somewhere.”
Scholes continued on about the work permit system which he believes is now becoming its own worst enemy and creating a vicious cycle.
“The irony is that he will probably be a success [elsewhere in Europe],” Scholes said, “and in a few years a Premier League club will be prepared to pay a few million pounds for him.”
“English top flight clubs are always being criticized about high transfer fees. We are told the Germans are better, and the Spanish and the Italians. Well, Juan Agudelo can go and play in any of those three countries now because he’d get a work permit there. Clubs over here may have to wait until he’s proven himself in Spain and then pay £10 million for him.”
He said if Agudelo was from anywhere else in the world, he’d be a no-brainer.
“The US are 13th in the FIFA world rankings, England are 11th. Can you imagine an England player at 21 with 18 caps for his country who gets turned down for a work permit anywhere? It’s completely wrong.”
It’s a promising outlook from an expert in Europe, and it’s even more bright given that Stoke tried so hard to secure him despite the road blocks in the way. Ultimately they failed, but the way forward for Agudelo still features plenty of light.
In a humorous bit of irony, Agudelo now may move to a club where he could directly replace a Stoke transfer. According to The Sentinel, Agudelo has been linked with a move to Germany’s Hannover 96.
Agudelo’s signature would benefit Hannover, who suffer from a striker deficit as second-leading scorer Mame Diouf is apparently on his way to the Britannia.