DeAndre Yedlin has only played for Tottenham Hotspur once this season, but he's taking it in stride. In comments given to Bleacher Report, the young American right back has expressed gratitude for the club bringing him along slowly and letting him adapt to life in England.
Fans have been impatient to see Yedlin on the pitch for Spurs, and rightfully so considering that recent injuries to Kyle Walker, Ben Davies, and Danny Rose have left the club dangerously thin defensively. American fans of Seattle Sounders, Yedlin's old club, have wondered why, if he wasn't going to play, Spurs pushed through a January transfer instead of sending him back to Seattle on loan. Yedlin, however, is taking the long view.
"Everywhere I've been, I'd say I've adjusted quickly but this is taking me a little bit longer.
Of course you want to just get in there and play. But I think in the long run, it is better that they have been patient with me, and it's better that they've allowed me to adapt to life here.
The fans just see what's happening on the field but there's a lot more that goes into it behind the scenes. It's good that I've been given a certain amount of time to adjust."
Yedlin's talent and natural athletic ability has meant he ascended quickly to the top levels of MLS and even turned that ability into a good performance for the USA at the World Cup in Brazil. At Tottenham, he's had to learn patience, and understand that playing opportunities come to those who work hard.
"I think that's the one thing I really like about Jurgen [Klinsmann, USA manager]. He trusts his young players, and he really gives them opportunities. I think it's the same with [Mauricio] Pochettino. That was another big factor in my decision to come here. I knew if I moved, I would get the opportunities if I earned them."
It may be frustrating to fans who want to see what Yedlin can do in these last, relatively meaningless matches at the tail end of the season, and maybe Mauricio Pochettino will finally let Yedlin off the leash a bit. Even if he doesn't, Spurs fans should have confidence that the work Yedlin is doing behind the scenes is preparing him for what we hope is a bright future at Tottenham Hotspur.