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Jun 3, 2020, 6:00:00 AM

Juan Agudelo Almost Joined Liverpool Before Stoke Move

Juan Agudelo almost signed with Liverpool and Celtic before his underwhelming stint with Stoke City in the Premier League which ended in a mutual termination.

Agudelo joined Stoke in 2014 after making a breakthrough in the MLS as a member of the New York Red Bulls. He also managed to be named to the US national team which garnered him even more attention across the ocean in the Premier League.

His stint with Stoke started on the wrong foot when his work permit was denied. He was sent to FC Utrecht in the Netherlands on loan so he would not have to stay at home without a chance to play. The Dutch team even offered him a contract because they wanted him to stay with the team. He was set to make a move to Stoke when the issues with his permit passed but he never got to play a game for the English squad.

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It was a shame because he had a lot of offers from other teams in the same area. Agudelo said, ‘I thought for sure I was going to go to Celtic. It was tough. I don’t know if I would have gone to Liverpool and got loaned out, but I definitely wanted to go to Celtic. It was a place I was probably going to play. I was frustrated that I couldn’t play for Stoke because of work-permit and political issues. I was like, I just want to go home’.

That was a big missed opportunity because he spent a lot of time on the outside looking in. He had a lot of potential which is evidenced by his debut in the MLS at just 17 years of age. He was the main backup of Thierry Henry at New York and he learned a lot from him.

Agudelo wishes that it worked out differently. He would not have wanted to change clubs and stay in the US because he saw that Europe was not really interested in him. He wanted to stay with New York and he thinks that he would have been the franchise player.

He is 27 right now and he is using his past experiences to fuel him in his stint with Inter Miami today.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA