US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has revealed his delight at seeing Tottenham Hotspur loanee DeAndre Yedlin get the chance to show his Premier League potential with Sunderland this season.
Yedlin, 22, joined Sunderland on a season-long loan last September after making just one 12-minute substitute appearance during his first eight months at Tottenham and has since featured 13 times for the Black Cats, recording one assist in the process.
The highly-rated American right-back did not play in any of the club’s five top-flight games in January but did start their last match against Manchester United, when he put in a strong 90-minute performance to help the hosts record a shock 2-1 win.
It obviously remains to be seen how much more playing time he will get with Sam Allardyce’s side over the rest of the season, but with World Cup qualifiers coming up in March and the Cop America Centenario taking place this summer, Klinsmann believes the 29-times capped defender is starting to show just how important he can be to the US moving forward.
Asked about Yedlin’s progress during a Facebook Q&A before last night’s 2016 Copa America draw, Klinsmann said: “Obviously every time he gets on the field and gets minutes, it’s huge for us. We monitor him and talk to him, so hopefully he gets even more minutes in the upcoming weeks.
“He’s very talented obviously but he still knows that he has a way to go and a lot to learn.
“By talking to him and also to his club coach, we hope that there’s a lot more to come in the next couple of months.”
Yedlin began his professional career with the Seattle Sounders in 2013 after spending two seasons at the University of Akron and, in the space of only 18 months, went from a relatively unknown college prospect to a two-time MLS All-Star and World Cup veteran.
The pacey defender, who can also play on the wing, first caught Tottenham’s eye with his promising performances off the bench at Brazil 2014 and soon secured a £2.5 million move to White Hart Lane as one of Mauricio Pochettino's first signings for the north London side.
He remained with his hometown club for the rest of the 2014 MLS season before heading across the pond, helping them win the US Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield title, but has since made just one substitute appearance for Spurs in a 1-0 league defeat to Aston Villa last April.
With Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier ahead of him in the pecking order, questions have already been raised about the Seattle native's future at the club, but his performances for Sunderland at least suggest that he has what it takes to make the grade in England in the long run.