Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper and former US national team standout Brad Friedel believes Spurs-bound DeAndre Yedlin will have no problems with the Premier League's spotlight because of the setup at his current club the Seattle Sounders.
One of the America’s brightest prospects, Yedlin’s career has taken off in meteoric fashion over the past 18 months, going from the college level to a two-time MLS All-Star and World Cup standout after just one full professional season with the Sounders.
Sealing a £2.5 future million move to Spurs in August on the back of his impressive performances in Brazil, the 21-year-old is in London this week with the US taking on Colombia on Friday night at Craven Cottage, and has even been training at Spurs’ facilities with Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad.
It still remains to be seen whether he will make the permanent switch across the Atlantic in either the winter or summer of 2015, with conflicting reports doing the rounds, but Friedel is confident that he will be well-prepared for when the time comes, having played in front of crowds of up to 60,000 at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field.
“The Premier League would be a step up for DeAndre. However, one of the advantages DeAndre is going to have is that he’s been playing in front of big crowds with Seattle,” he told Goal.com.
“He’s been playing at one of those clubs in MLS that has gotten a lot of things right along the way, fan base being one of them. The ownership structure and the coaching structure has been top notch since the inception of Seattle. DeAndre will be coming into an environment that he’s used to seeing.”
Despite recent UK reports claiming he is set to receive his Latvian passport which will allow him to make a potential winter move, Yedlin admitted this week that he still doesn’t know what plans Spurs have for him, but insists he wants to be an immediate starter when he does arrive at White Hart Lane.
“I don’t know when I’m going,” he told reporters at US training. “I’d like to get there and help but I don’t know all the ins and outs of that process so I’m just waiting to hear what happens.
"I'm really trying to focus on my season and what I'm doing there but I have been keeping up with them [Spurs] as well - just trying to keep in touch and see how they're doing.
“I feel I'm ready wherever I'm put, I'm ready to step in, whether that's coming in and playing and challenging for a spot or coming in and having to work a little bit until I get a chance. I haven't spoken to Mauricio Pochettino but while I'm here I'll look to do that.”
In the meantime, Yedlin will continue his bid to help his hometown club claim a historic domestic treble, with the Sounders in the hunt for a first-ever MLS Cup to add to the US Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield titles which have both been won over the past two months.