Sunderland have a new manager. Less than a week after Dick Advocaat stepped down, unwilling to deal with a relegation battle and ownership that he believed did little to support him, the Black Cats hired Sam Allardyce to right the ship.
So what does this mean for DeAndre Yedlin?
The American joined Sunderland on a one-year loan from Tottenham Hotspur at the transfer deadline and has done well for the Black Cats in limited appearances. It took some time him to settle in at the Stadium of Light, but he got his first start on September 22 in the League Cup and made an impact, at least enough of one that Advocaat handed him a Premier League start last week. Another solid showing later and it looked like Yedlin was going to be in the mix for regular playing time for the foreseeable future.
But things always change when new managers come in, especially those with such strong beliefs as Allardyce. That's especially true when teams are in a relegation battle and that Yedlin is only on loan doesn't help his case.
Unfortunately, Yedlin doesn't appear to be a great fit for Allardyce. Whereas Advocaat was using him as a right back, he likely won't fit into Allardyce's back line. Advocaat likes bigger, more physically imposing defenders, even on the outside. In absence of size, he'll take defensively responsible. Yedlin doesn't much fit that, with him being smaller, faster, an asset in the attack and sometimes shaky at the back. Billy Jones just about has a lock on the first choice right back spot now -- to be fair, he was before, but now there's little debate -- and Yedlin will likely find it hard to get playing time there.
There is good news, though -- Yedlin can crack the team in the midfield. Advocaat played with a three-man midfield, meaning that there was no room for the American there and he could only play at right back. Allardyce almost always plays with wingers, meaning that Yedlin could slot in there and his ability to provide not just pace, but a defensive aspect there could be appealing to the new manager. Between the midfield and spot appearances at right back in place of Jones, Yedlin might have a chance to play a fair amount.
It's still early so we're speculating and guessing here. Allardyce has a long track record, though, so it's not hard to figure out what he likes and doesn't like. It's just a matter of sorting out how Yedlin fits in, and it doesn't appear to be especially well, but there is a window.