Why DeAndre Yedlin should have started for Spurs against Stoke

DeAndre Yedlin Jermaine Jones

Tottenham have given the US international just 11 minutes of playing time, despite problems at fullback.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino continues to baffle supporters with a reluctance to play DeAndre Yedlin at right back, despite first choice option Kyle Walker being out for the rest of the season.

Against Stoke on Saturday, the ex-Southampton manager missed an opportunity to play the fullback, who was on the bench, instead choosing four central defenders including Eric Dier at right back, and Danny Rose's injury meaning Jan Vertonghen was stuck out on the other flank.

Whatever Dier's future in the game, it is not going to be at fullback. He is only capable of playing in that position because he possesses decent pace, and sufficient skill to beat his man at times, but his agility compared to his physical presence surely indicates that he will feature more prominently in central defence in future seasons. The 21-year-old has done well enough in recent weeks filling in for the side, but against Stoke things were very difficult for the former Sporting star.

Pochettino would have known that Marko Arnautovic would turn Dier inside out with his trickery and pace, and the England Under-21 international had one of his toughest games in Spurs colours with the Austrian a major factor in Stoke's 3-0 win.

The Tottenham manager had the chance to make a change at half time, with Vlad Chiriches booked and Dier able to come into central defence in his place, with Yedlin then the natural option from the bench. But the Argentine missed that opportunity, and Chiriches made probably his final contribution in a Spurs shirt by suffering a dismissal.

Yedlin's limited involvement with Spurs since arriving in January has largely been put down to Mauricio Pochettino's desire to help the player settle in before he suffers the pressure of first team football. But this is against his whole mentality with youth players of 'if he's good enough he should get a game.'

Spurs fans can only assume that the US international hasn't been good enough in training to warrant another first team appearance. Otherwise, with there little else left to play for, surely now is the time to introduce the likes of Yedlin into the starting eleven.

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