Should Sunderland utilise DeAndre Yedlin as a winger, rather than as a full-back?

DeAndre Yedlin

Sunderland should consider using Tottenham loanee Yedlin as a winger.

Yedlin arrived at the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan deal on deadline day, although he cannot make his debut for the club this weekend.

The Black Cats take on Spurs, and Yedlin cannot play against his parent club, with the 22-year-olf full-back pencilled in to first appear for the side next weekend, when Dick Advocaat takes his men to Bournemouth.

Yedlin was signed to provide cover in the right-back position, with Adam Matthews injured and Billy Jones off form, but there could be another role in the team for the youngster thanks to Advocaat’s preference for hardworking wingers.

The Dutch coach plays a 4-3-3 system, with a lone forward supported by two hardworking wingers. Jeremain Lens will play on the left of the three, with Fabio Borini and Jermain Defoe set to fight it out for the striking role, leaving the right sided position still without a dedicated player.

Steven Fletcher and Danny Graham have both been used in the unorthodox wide role, whilst Adam Johnson has shown some flashes of attacking talent, but none of the current options provide all the needs to fit into Advocaat’s team.

This is where Yedlin comes in.

He has already played as a wide midfielder before in his career, and pushing him slightly further up the pitch will require little tactical training. He is physical enough to cover the entire flank as both an attacking and defensive player, and being trained as a full-back means he will provide the kind of defensive aptitude that none of the other options can bring.

Selecting Yedlin as a winger will also reduce the defensive work rate required from the left winger and main striker, as they will know that their is always a player willing to cut into the centre and cover for their attacking play.

He will also not reduce the attacking efficiency when asked to press forward, having proven his offensive skills with both Spurs and Seattle Sounders, with his average of 0.7 crosses per game only slightly less than Lens’ tally of 0.8 per game. Yedlin even has a better passing accuracy than the Dutchman, with his 81.7% far better than Lens’ 58.4% this campaign.

Yedlin may be sitting out of action this weekend, against Tottenham, but when he is ready for action next week, Advocaat should seriously consider utilising the USA international as a right-winger, rather than as a right-back in his tactical set-up.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch