Late in the summer transfer window we learned that United States international DeAndre Yedlin agreed to a transfer that would take him from Spurs in the Premier League to the recently relegated Newcastle United.
While some scratched their heads at the move, Yedlin sees it as an opportunity.
“Newcastle came forward and put a bid in and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to get back up to the north.
“It’s a massive club and Rafa Benitez speaks for himself. He’s an unbelievable manager with a great resume so there were really no cons to it.
Some pundits wrung their collective hands saying that this was a bad move for the young right-back — others (myself included) wanted him to get as much playing time as possible — and with Newcastle United that could be a reality. He’s possibly third on the current depth chart behind Jesus Gamez and utility man Vurnon Anita.
“Competition’s always good, especially when you have players like Anita and Jesus Gamez on my side who has got a lot of experience in my position and I can learn from,” smiles a player whose path to Spurs’ first team was blocked by Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier. “I’m just trying to absorb everything, learn from them, learn from Rafa and just take all that experience in.”
Speaking of Rafa Benitez, Yedlin had no problem heaping praise on his new manager.
“He’s one of the great coaches,” says Yedlin. “You just need to look at his resume and the teams he had and look at what he’s learnt.”
“It [dropping into the Championship] came into the equation but it’s still a good opportunity and I think this team definitely has the talent to be able to go up this year. I’m obviously hoping we do but we have to take it game by game.”
He came off the bench in his Newcastle debut against Brighton and Hove Albion playing right wing instead of his preferred defensive position. A position that Sam Allardyce at Sunderland tried to train out of him so he could focus on his defensive duties. But you take the all the playing time you can get right?
He made 23 appearances for Newcastle’s rival Sunderland, which coincidentally led to the Magpies being relegated. If Yedlin hadn’t emerged as a consistent starter last season, maybe they don’t meet the drop.
Yedln was unlucky/lucky to get to leave USMNT camp early and return to his new team after being suspend for the USA’s second World Cup qualifier. Hopefully that added time with Newcastle will benefit him.