Tottenham's DeAndre Yedlin discusses a midfield role

DeAndre Yedlin Jermaine Jones

The US international believes he can excel further up the pitch but still has right-back pegged as his favourite position.

Tottenham Hotspur defender DeAndre Yedlin has told Fox Sports that he would be open to lining up in midfield for Spurs but still favours a more familiar right-back role.

After completing his pre-arranged move from the Seattle Sounders this winter, Yedlin was forced to wait over three months for his Tottenham debut, before replacing Vlad Chiriches in the 79th-minute of the weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.

Having established himself in MLS at right-back, the Seattle-native is expected to compete with positional rival Kyle Walker for a spot in Mauricio Pochettino’s side moving forward but he could just as easily fill a more advanced role.

The American speedster in fact started out his college career as a winger with the Akron Zips before being pushed down the pitch and has even made most of his 14 international appearances on the right-hand side of midfield.

Blessed with outstanding attacking speed but often criticised for his defensive work, it has been mooted that he could thus start Premier League life on the wing in order to ease his transition and improve his chances of seeing the pitch.

Speaking ahead of the US national team’s clash with Mexico tonight in San Antonio, Yedlin himself took a diplomatic approach to the situation but, when pressed on his preference, indicated that right-back is where he feels most comfortable.

"It depends a lot on who you're playing with,” he said. “If there's a right back behind me that likes to sit a little bit then I think right mid is my best position.

"But if I'm playing with a right mid that likes to stay wide and doesn't like to come inside and create that space for overlap... honestly I think right back is my favourite position. Attacking in that position is very fun."

Continuing on his long-awaited Tottenham debut, Yedlin added: "It was an unbelievable experience. The reception from the fans was unbelievable. Just to be able to get on the field was great.

“It's been a long time coming. I know it's a bit longer than people expected, but it's a step in the right direction. I'm happy about that, just looking to build on that."

Having just broken into the Spurs first-team with Walker out injured, Yedlin was somewhat of a surprise call-up for the exhibition match against Mexico, with the club having no obligation to release him on a non-FIFA date.

Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s relationship with his old team no doubt helped smooth things over, though, and the two-time MLS All-Star is now looking forward to taking on their CONCACAF rivals ahead of a potential encounter at the summer’s Gold Cup.

“We’re just trying to get a win,” he added. “We’ve been going through a little bit of a bad patch recently but, with the Gold Cup coming up, I think we’re going to pick up the momentum and this is the perfect game to do that.”

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