Debutant DeAndre Yedlin: It’s so encouraging to see young players developing at Spurs
DeAndre Yedlin is aiming to become the latest young star to develop under Mauricio Pochettino and secure a place in the first team after making his Tottenham debut on Saturday.
Spurs suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa, failing to score for the second game in a row, but Yedlin’s appearance as a 79th-minute substitute provided some interest in the closing stages.
The 21-year-old USA international signed for Tottenham last summer and arrived in January, spending the last four months adjusting to his new surroundings and getting up to speed with the pace of the Premier League in training.
However, Kyle Walker’s injury gave Yedlin an opportunity. And, although Vlad Chiriches started at right-back against Villa, he replaced the Romanian to finally make his bow at White Hart Lane.
“It’s definitely been a long time coming, I’ve waited so long for this,” Yedlin told Ham&High Sport. “It’s nice that that day has finally come and it’s progress, so I’m now just looking to maintain that and see what comes of it.
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“I’m not impatient at all. I think if you start to get impatient you start to lose your head a little bit and, if you do get a chance to go in, you’re not at the top of your game. I just try to stay calm and confident and, when you get your chance, hopefully try to make something happen.
“It was fantastic making my debut but it came in very disappointing circumstances. The only thing I can think about right now is the loss. It definitely hurts but we’ll keep our heads up and look to bounce back.
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“I think the club’s definitely going in the right direction with Pochettino and I don’t have any worries. I’m still confident and excited for the future.
“It’s obviously a place where younger players – in fact all the players – are developing greatly. You look at Harry Kane, obviously that’s the main one, and he’s just shot through the roof, so it’s very encouraging.
“You have a guy like Nabil [Bentaleb] who’s starting every game at 20 years old. It’s encouraging to know that Pochettino has that kind of trust in younger players, and very motivating.”
Having come from Major League Soccer in America, where he played for Seattle Sounders, Yedlin has now had his first taste of the Premier League – and he believes his time on Tottenham’s training pitches fully prepared him for the experience.
“Obviously the games are where you pick it up the most, but I’ve definitely got a little more used to the pace of it and how intense and fast it is,” he said.
“I felt pretty comfortable out there [on Saturday]. It’s the same kind of pace and especially in training it’s honestly faster than the games I think, so everything felt comfortable.”
Yedlin has been called up to the USA squad that will face Mexico tomorrow night (Wednesday) in Texas.