USA international DeAndre Yedlin could be handed the perfect chance to prove himself in the Premier League after Tottenham Hotspur confirmed on Tuesday that first choice right back Kyle Walker is likely to miss the rest of the season through injury.
The 21-year-old, who has only seen 11 minutes of Premier League football this season, is expected to have a big future at White Hart Lane and with little to nothing to play for, Mauricio Pochettino will have few better opportunities to throw him into the first team and see what he can do.
Why the next five games could be huge for Yedlin and Pochettino's pre-season plans?
The full-back, who is revered for his speed, could be handed a fairly significant run of games, including a home match against Manchester City, to prove himself as a Premier League quality player.
With 15 international caps over the past 14 months, his inexperience on a big stage shouldn’t come into question. And if Pochettino can’t trust him to play out the final five games of the season, where the pressure is effectively off, then supporters will be right to question when they can expect to see him in the starting line-up.
At 21, he still has plenty of time to progress but he does need a chance to play regular football. If he can step up and do well in the final five games then Pochettino could be left with a tricky decision as to who his first choice should be next season. If not, then it at least allows him to consider sending the American out on loan for first team experience.