DeAndre Yedlin’s move to the English Premier League should be cheered by all USMNT fans, but the question must be asked if this was the right move? Without a doubt the competition with Tottenham Hotspur in the EPL is better than with the Seattle Sounders the MLS. Without a doubt Yedlin will become a better player through this move to Tottenham. However, the question must be asked if Yedlin will even see the field for the Spurs.
Before this move can be made official, Yedlin must show his worth with the Sounders. The contract states that the young American can join the Spurs in 2015. However, it does not specific when. The most likely timing of the move will be after the ’14-’15 EPL season. By bringing Yedlin in during the offseason, Tottenham would be able to watch compete in a training setting before he can compete for the starting spot.
Taking over the starting spot is a tall task for the 21 year-old American, however. The England international, Kyle Walker is currently the starting right back for the Spurs. Walker started playing professional football in England when Yedlin was still in high school. A little known fact is that Yedlin did not play his first professional match until 2013, according to ESPN FC. The two players are incredibly similar in their style of play, relying heavily on their quickness both on the defensive and offensive ends. Walker is only 3 years older; however, his experience against much better opponents gives him a major edge over Yedlin. (It also doesn’t hurt that Walker is British.)
Another great point that ESPN FC analyst, Craig Burley, highlighted is the turnover rate of Tottenham’s managers. The club has had three different managers over the past three seasons, so there is no guarantee that the current manager, Mauricio Pochettino, will even be in his post when Yedlin arrives. If Pochettino was the man who pushed for the Yedlin transfer, who is to say what happens if Pochettino is sacked by the time Yedlin joins Spurs? This situation could potentially see Tottenham send the young American out on loan.
Time on loan with another European club would not be all bad news for Yedlin. Tottenham would clearly want their new player to improve, so the move would be to a team and league that is more competitive than playing with the Sounders. Hopefully, Tottenham does not simply send the young American to the English Championship because the MLS now plays an arguably equivalent level of football as the Championship. A move to a quality La Liga, Bundesliga, or Ligue 1 side would be more welcomed.
Regardless of where in Europe Yedlin ends up playing his football next year, this seems to be a good time for Yedlin to make the move to play in Europe. USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsman will be sure to keep a close eye on Yedlin’s progress overseas, whether that is in England or elsewhere.