William Travis is based in the United States and gives us his view on the many benefits DeAndre Yedlin could be set to deliver to Newcastle United.
With Kevin Mbabu going out on loan and Daryl Janmaat heading to Watford, Newcastle have secured the services of American full-back DeAndre Yedlin.
For the past few years, Yedlin has been one of the more promising prospects within the American football system.
Despite it being only his first year in the MLS, Yedlin burst onto the scene with the Seattle Sounders in 2013. After turning in a solid 2014 World Cup performance for the United States, Yedlin earned a transfer to Tottenham, where he managed only one appearance following his arrival.
The following season, in 2015, Tottenham loaned him to Sunderland. His stint with the mackems started slowly but by the end of the year he had become the regular starter at right back.
Yedlin brings uncanny physical abilities but on the downside is quite raw. The 23-year-old possesses blazing speed and uses that ability to get involved in the attack. Highlighting this reality, U.S. National Team Coach Jürgen Klinsmann initially opted to use Yedlin in a midfield position, taking advantage of his speed while removing the defensive responsibility that comes with playing a full-back position.
While at Sunderland, Yedlin displayed improved awareness and understanding of tactical positioning. This improvement is most likely what motivated Klinsmann to play Yedlin in his natural position, right-back, during this summer’s Copa America.
Getting Rafa Benitez as a new manager will be a positive for Deandre Yedlin’s growth, as Benitez is known as a tactical coach who places an emphasis on positioning.
In the attack, Yedlin doesn’t have an arsenal of tricks up his sleeve; rather, he generally just knocks the ball past people and uses his speed to outpace them. As simple as this might be, it often works, and he puts a decent cross into the box when he gets into the correct position.
Newcastle have needed a left-back for ages, and unfortunately, I don’t think Yedlin solves this issue, unless Benitez has plans to try something new. With Yedlin being predominantly an attacking full-back, this is probably a replacement for Janmaat.
Benitez may desire better service from the outside now that Aleksander Mitrović is returning and Yedlin can certainly help with that.
From an off-field standpoint, this is a good move for the organisation, as it makes the team attractive to the American market. Newcastle already have a decent U.S. following, and having an American international on the roster will make it stronger. Many American fans desperately want their players to find success in Europe.
If Yedlin goes on to perform well as a Magpie, Newcastle could continue to tap into an advantageous market.
That success though largely depends on the continued development of DeAndre Yedlin as a defender.