Cartilage Free Captain is reviewing each of Spurs' first team players and evaluating their season. The series continues today with Tottenham Hotspur right back DeAndre Yedlin
Minutes played: 12
What went right?
It depends on how you look at it. If you're a rabid American soccer fan who delighted in this signing, then it may be tempting to view DeAndre Yedlin's first six months at Spurs as a failure. After all, he barely got on the pitch at all, only making a single cameo during the home loss to Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa. However, the club were very clear that they were bringing Yedlin on very gradually, making sure he had the time to fully adapt to life in a new city, country, and league. He appears to have done that, and made all the right noises to the media saying that he appreciates being given the chance to be brought into the fold gradually. There's something to be said for taking a foreign player without EPL experience and not throwing him into the deep end of the pool. Spurs have the luxury of grooming him for the first team, as much as it frustrates USA national team fans. That said, Yedlin wants to play.
What went wrong?
Well, he didn't play. Almost at all. Despite defensive frailty and times where Spurs were crying out for a bit of pace on the flank, Mauricio Pochettino clearly favored playing Eric Dier or Vlad Chiriches out of position on the right over giving Yedlin a chance. He did make the bench a few times, but never made it on the field apart from the Aston Villa match. There were ITK murmurs that he was poor in training and needed a lot of remedial work to get up to EPL standards, but it's hard to know how much to believe that. Yedlin did get two good stints in Spurs' post-season tours and looked not only cromulent, but actually good, especially in Sydney.
Yedlin's immediate future likely depends a lot on his international performances this summer. He already had a key assist in USA's friendly win over the Netherlands, and will likely also play a role in today's friendly against Germany. In addition, it seems ludicrous that he wouldn't play a key role in Jurgen Klinsmann's CONCACAF Gold Cup squad as well. If he can come through with some impressive performances against international competition, he might be able to make a positive impression on his club manager as well and try and stake a claim as Kyle Walker's primary backup. If not, well, there's always a good loan. Another season of inertia, however, and we should start getting worried.
Based on the extremely limited sample size, it's impossible to give a grade to Yedlin. And yet, we've seen just enough from him in the post-season tour and with the USA to stay cautiously optimistic about his future at Tottenham Hotspur.