Stoke bought Agudelo in January knowing that he did not qualify for a UK work permit automatically, but believing he could win an appeal and be able to play for the Potters. Unfortunately, the appeal was unsuccessful so he was sent on loan to Utrecht, where he played well, but when Stoke made another appeal, they were denied again.
The Potters and Agudelo now have to decide whether they think he will get his work permit anytime soon and whether they want to cut ties. Agudelo signed with Stoke on a free transfer so while the Potters obviously like him and don't want to just give the striker up, it's not as if they would be out any money. In fact, they could surely sell him for a decent fee and make a profit on the 21-year-old.
If Stoke do not want to sell Agudelo and make another run at an appeal, they really have two options:
1) See if Agudelo makes the World Cup team and try for another appeal after the tournament. If the 21-year-old plays for the United States at the World Cup, they will have a much stronger case that he is an exceptional talent and worthy of having his appeal approved.
2) Send Agudelo out on loan again for a year and hope that he becomes a regular for the U.S. in the run up to the Gold Cup, at which point Agudelo won't have played in the 75% of national team matches over two years to qualify for a work permit automatically, but could be over 75% for a year and thus have a strong basis for appeal.
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- Projecting the USA World Cup preliminary roster
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