DeAndre Yedlin would be Tottenham’s backup
Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t made too many mistakes during his reign at Tottenham, but selling DeAndre Yedlin to Newcastle is starting to look like a concrete error. It’s very likely that Yedlin would be ahead of Kieran Trippier in Pochettino’s pecking order if he were still with Spurs.
In fairness, selling Yedlin didn’t draw the ire of many Spurs fans when it happened. The young American didn’t seem to be developing at a very rapid pace. Kyle Walker and Trippier seemed firmly entrenched ahead of him in the mid of the Spurs manager.
A lot has changed since Yedlin went to work for Rafa Benitez. Slowly but surely, he’s grown and matured into a reliable defender. He may not be a perfect wing back, but his top-notch athleticism allows him to cover the majority of his mental mistakes. In that regard his playing style is very similar to Walker’s.
At the same time, Kieran Trippier’s development for Spurs has begun to sputter. Many fans thought he’d get the starting nod when Walker was sold to Manchester City this summer, but it quickly became obvious that wasn’t going to happen. The arrival of Serge Aurier in North London confirmed what many Spurs fans already knew: Trippier just isn’t athletic enough to be the club’s full-time starter.
Now, the gap between Yedlin and Trippier’s level of play is razor-thin. The Englishman has earned a Whoscored.com player rating average of 6.92 in six Premier League appearances. Yedlin’s mark is slightly behind that with a score of 6.75 in his three domestic starts.
Trippier’s small rating advantage is easily countered by Yedlin’s advantage in terms of age. Despite his international experience the American is just 24 years of age. Trippier, despite his recent emergence into the England squad is already 27. That isn’t ancient by any means, but it means Trippier is squarely in his prime. Yedlin still has several years to grow into his best form.
Add all of those factors up and it equals a Tottenham transfer mistake. The club haven’t made many during Pochettino’s reign, but no one is perfect in the transfer market. Spurs would have been wise to give DeAndre Yedlin more time to grow into his vast potential. Their loss has become Newcastle’s gain.