Maurice Edu’s club career is in limbo, again

Maurice Edu

Former Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu has once again entered a state of limbo with regards to his club career.  He just finished a successful, & lucrative, loan spell with the Philadelphia Union in MLS.  He is contracted with Stoke City until the end of the season but it appears unlikely that Edu will rejoin Stoke anytime soon.

Edu joined Philadelphia for their 2014 season after being a non-entity for Stoke since he joined the club.  Edu played in 31 of the Union’s 34 matches this season & spent much of that time starting as the club’s center back.  Edu was first utilized in defence by Jurgen Klinsmann  for the United States national team & easily transitions from midfield to defence.  He scored three goals & added two assists this season while accumulating 37 shots – nine of which were on target.  Edu’s international experience & subsequent composure quickly made him a leader for Philadelphia.  He captained the club for much of the season.

Edu was among the top payed players on the team as well as he earned $650,000 for the season (about £8,470 per week).

He is eager to stay in Philadelphia, but there are multiple variables in play.  Edu told Philly.com, “I don’t know; that’s out of my hands at this point.  It’s up to the clubs [Stoke and the Union] to come to an agreement.”

“For me it’s always been about just playing.  I’m the kind of person where I thrive on that type of situation, I thrive on situations where you have to prove yourself.”

“That was the case with me, I wasn’t playing with Stoke and I had the opportunity to come here.”

“I didn’t want to just come and just play, I wanted to try to make an impact.  I said from the beginning, I wanted to try to help this team do something special this year and I wanted to try to be a leader on this team.”

Rare footage of Edu playing for Stoke

Edu was given very little opportunity to impress during his time with Stoke, making only one substitute appearance.  He was cast aside into the shadows at Britannia Stadium & spent the bulk of his time on loan or lucky to find time in Stoke’s reserve team.

The Stoke Sentinal’s report on Edu’s situation encapsulates the dismissive apathy the club has towards the American, who made nearly 100 appearances for Rangers, has earned 46 caps for the United States, & was among Klinsmann’s final cuts prior to the 2014 World Cup.

Maurice Edu, one of Stoke City’s least productive players in recent times, could soon be back at the club.

The 28 year-old American is coming to the end of his loan spell back home with Philadelphia Union in the MLS.

And as things stand, that means packing his bags and returning to Stoke.

Many fans have probably forgotten he’s even on the books – even manager Mark Hughes might need reminding – after playing such a minimal role since joining on a free via Glasgow Rangers in the summer of 2012.

James Whittaker, who covers Stoke for ESPN FC, spoke to Rangers Report about Edu’s future with the club.  “I think I can say with almost 100% confidence that Edu will never play for Stoke again.”

“I think the Premier League was a step too far for him, really.”

“We’ve got a lot of options in centre midfield & while there are fewer at the back (we need a new defender)  – I don’t see a future for him there or anywhere else.”

“It is good to hear he’s done relatively well back home.”

It is no surprise that Edu is probably not wanted by Stoke, but he still is contracted until the end of the season.  The Stoke Sentinal concluded, “Stoke must now decide whether to cut all ties by settling the remainder of his contract, or simply loan him out again when the MLS kicks back into life early next year.”

There is no guarantee that Philadelphia will be clamoring for Edu’s services.  He has developed a workmanlike approach to his game, but does not fuel fans with excitement as MLS has recently attracted big names like Frank Lampard, David Villa, Kaka, Michael Bradley & Clint Dempsey into the fold.

Will Philadelphia be tempted to reallocate its resources in another direction?  If so, Edu’s future will be up in the air, again.  It has sadly been the trend for Edu ever since he left Rangers prior to the 2012-13 season.

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