Juan Agudelo makes an announcement on Twitter, but it’s not the one about a transfer

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He was once the latest and greatest forward the US national team could and ever would have. He scored in his debut for the US and he looked the part of a true, blossoming talent while playing alongside Thierry Henry in a New York Red Bulls jersey as a teenager. Juan Agudelo was supposed to be the next Jozy Altidore, but possibly better.

Then Agudelo was traded to Chivas USA, fell off of the national team radar and wasn’t able to make a full impact, even with offseason training sessions with Celtic, West Ham and Liverpool.

Now he’s in New England playing for a rejuvenated Revolution side pushing for a playoff spot, and Agudelo has looked the part of young, dynamic forward again, until getting injured last month, which perked new Stoke City manager Mark Hughes’ interest in signing him.

But not much has been said regarding Agudelo’s contract with Major League Soccer and the Revolution or if there is firm interest from Stoke City to make a move during the Premier League’s summer transfer window. So, with all eyes on Clint Dempsey’s return to MLS, Agudelo decided to stir the pot today with a few tweets from his personal (verified) Twitter account.

And the Twitter world waited for an announcement…But were destined to be disappointed.

There you have it. Agudelo apparently bought Geico car insurance, or he’s just punking us all and keeping us on the edge of our seats because he can. Whatever the reason for announcing a car insurance type, the way Agudelo went about this leaves something to be desired from a young professional athlete trying to make the next jump in his career.

Yes, Agudelo is only 20 and deserves to have fun, as any young person does. But he’s also a professional athlete with the watching eyes of managers around the world looking at him, hoping to see he’s matured and is ready for the next step in his career.

A manager like Hughes needs to know that the next player he signs will make an impact right away because the Premier League table is so tight every year. Agudelo needs to show he won’t be too immature when he signs that big Premier League contract if the time comes and will show up every day and be a positive ambassador for the club.

Agudelo needs to show managers like Hughes and clubs like Stoke that he’s ready to step up and won’t get lost when he finally makes the next jump because that chance may only come once or not come at all.  And you better believe teams are watching Agudelo’s Twitter feed (and Facebook, Instagram, etc.) because its one way to get to know what kind of person a player is and when a club signs a player its not just signing them for their on the field performances, but also for what they offer the field as well.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

whufc.com
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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.