Tottenham loanee DeAndre Yedlin discusses his Sunderland switch

DeAndre Yedlin Jermaine Jones

The US international has joined the Black Cats on a deal until the end of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur right-back DeAndre Yedlin has told of his relief at completing his season-long loan move to Sunderland before the transfer deadline.

The 22-year-old US international joined Spurs from the Seattle Sounders in January after the two sides agreed a £2.5 million deal ahead of last season but made just one 11-minute substitute appearance over the second half of the campaign.

With Kyle Walker and new boy Kieran Tripper providing strong competition for playing time, the 23-times capped defender failed to even make the bench for the first four Premier League games of this term and faced the prospect of little first-team football at White Hart Lane over the coming months.

A loan had been expected to materialise as a result but, while the two-time MLS All-Star was linked with various European clubs towards the end of last month [h/t], he had to wait until the last minute before finding out his ultimate destination.

Eventually, it was top-flight rivals Sunderland who emerged on deadline day with an offer and the Spurs prospect is delighted that he will now get the chance to prove his top-flight credentials at the Stadium of Light.

“This last month has been tough,”  said Yedlin, who is in Washington D.C ahead of the US national team's friendly against Peru on Friday. “It’s been pretty stressful because there have been so many teams that have come up and then gone, and a lot of it is kind of out of my control. That was tough, but I’m relieved its over.

“[It’s] huge, especially since I’m staying in the Premier League,” he continued. “I think it’s a league that you really have to get used to. If you’re coming from another one, it’s a tough league. I think, just getting the experience and playing with a Premier League team and, hopefully, getting consistent games, that will be huge for me."

While Yedlin is initially expected to compete with Billy Jones for Sunderland’s starting right-back job, manager Dick Advocaat could also choose to use the versatile speedster in midfielder, where he has most often featured for the US.

Still an incredibly raw prospect, the Seattle-native possesses tantalising physical gifts but he also has a great deal to prove when it comes to his defensive work – an area of his game that has often been criticised in the past.

His positioning at the back could be described as poor at best and, after a disappointing Gold Cup campaign this summer, it is clear that he needs regular games at this point in his career if he wants to fulfil his vast potential.

There is certainly a danger that he could become another Jozy Altidore at Sunderland but, given that the deal is just a loan, there is still a lot to like about it from the Black Cats’ perspective.

The potential rewards for Advocaat's side far outweigh the risks in the grand scheme of things, while Tottenham are no doubt delighted at the prospect of him getting Premier League minutes rather than having to settle for a place on their bench or the occasional Under-21 run-out.

"It’s just that I had the opportunity to get playing time,” Yedlin added. “Obviously, they’re a little bit lower on the table, and of all the parties that were involved, it just felt like a good place for me to go. It just felt like it was right.

“With the opportunity, I’ll be able to get playing time. I’ll be able to get in a groove playing and I’m looking forward to it.”

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