Former US international Taylor Twellman took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to talk up fellow American DeAndre Yedlin’s potential after seeing him help Sunderland take a huge step towards Premier League survival with a 3-2 home win over Chelsea.
The right-back, who is on a season-long loan from Tottenham Hotspur, was making his 11th straight start for the Black Cats on the afternoon and showed he was deserving of his place in the line-up when he set up Jermain Defoe’s winner 20 minutes from the end.
The hosts had trailed at half-time after Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic scored either side of Wahbi Khazri's goal, but Fabio Borini equalised in the 67th-minute before Yedlin linked up with Defoe just three minutes later to put them ahead for the first time.
After collecting the ball on the right wing, the Tottenham loanee used his renowned pace to skip past a challenge and send in a low cross, which deflected off a defender before falling for Defoe to provide the finish from close-range.
It was the type of attacking play which the pacey defender delivered regularly during his time in MLS but has struggled to serve up since joining Tottenham last season from the Seattle Sounders.
Nevertheless, his performances during Sunderland’s relegation run-in have shown a great deal of promise, and as one of the emerging speedster’s biggest backers, Twellman was quick to talk up his potential following the Chelsea game.
If Yedlin can become a real threat with his ability to finish off plays with a pass/cross/shot, then watch out. #SUNvCFC— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) May 7, 2016
Yedlin originally signed for Tottenham from the Seattle Sounders in August 2014 but stayed with his hometown club for the rest of the 2014 MLS season as per the terms of the deal, helping them win the US Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield title in the process.
The former University of Akron star eventually made the move to England in January 2015 but made just one 12-minute substitute appearance for Mauricio Pochettino’s side over the next eight months before joining Sunderland last September on a season-long loan.
He has since played 23 times for Sam Allardyce’s men and establish himself as a key figure in their survival bid, having seen the club suffer just two defeats since coming into the line-up 11 games ago.
Saturday’s result means they are now just one win away from safety after moving a point above Newcastle United into 17th-place with a game in hand, but their superior goal difference means even two draws from their remaining matches against Everton and Watford should be enough to retain their top-flight status.