Inter Miami are reportedly set to sign Juan Agudelo after Toronto FC failed to come to an agreement with the former New England forward. The signing, while far from spectacular, is a low-risk punt that is worth taking.
Inter Miami have seemingly not realised that they will be playing in Major League Soccer in a little over two months’ time. Still yet to hire a head coach, they have also have major holes in the roster to fill out before the season begins.
While the David Beckham-led ownership group claim to be ready to invest heavily in the team and there is a general expectation that Miami will challenge for the playoffs and more from day one because of this, the early signs are not positive.
However, while much of the media circus in Miami has centred on the head coaching position, rumours swirling around linking Patrick Vieira to the job, the club did reportedly get some business done, agreeing to a deal with free agent, Juan Agudelo.
The New England Revolution declined the contract option on the centre-forward before Toronto FC claimed his rights in the second stage of the re-entry draft. However, after the Reds were unable to thrash out a deal with Agudelo, Inter Miami have swooped in and are reportedly close to agreeing to a contract.
Last year, Agudelo earned $605,000. It is believed that he was asking for a similar salary in Toronto, but Ali Curtis was unwilling to match the figure. And so, in stepped Inter Miami, keen to add to a roster that is in desperate need of any semblance of playing talent.
Agudelo is an intriguing acquisition. He has largely disappointed since breaking onto the scene as a widely talented young attacker, struggling to forge a true role for himself, a victim of his own versatility, but somewhere in there, there is a talented player who could be useful for an MLS team, especially one with no players like Inter Miami!
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Agudelo started out as a useful player for the Revolution, scoring seven, seven, seven and eight goals in his first four seasons. But in his last two campaigns, he has scored a total of six goals in almost 3500 minutes of MLS action. Even for a rotational player who is not a full-time starter, that is not a very capable strike-rate whatsoever.
Nevertheless, for Miami, this is a risk worth taking. What have they got to lose? And if they uncover the younger version of Agudelo who might not be a reliable starting option but a very capable depth piece who can play in a variety of positions and chip in with crucial goals here and there, they will have hit the jackpot.
This is obviously not the blockbuster move that Inter Miami supporters have been expecting, and the club has been relentlessly and fruitlessly rumoured with throughout the offseason. But acquiring talented players like Agudelo is a necessary aspect of smart and successful team building. It is not just the stars that win MLS Cups.
Assembling a capable squad is about finding value in any way possible, and taking a risk on a guy like Agudelo might just provide Inter Miami with terrific value.