Spurs have right backs in the physical sense, but I’m not sure they have them in any kind of philosophical one. Kyle Walker is reportedly not close to returning from a March hip surgery. Kyle Naughton sucks. Vlad Chiriches, who started Spurs’ blowout loss to Chelsea at right back on Wednesday, is a central defender.
So perhaps 21-year-old DeAndre Yedlin’s arrival in January will be met with a bit more fanfare than it otherwise would. Now that Yedlin’s MLS career is over (for the foreseeable future anyway), Spurs fans can look ahead to his arrival at White Hart Lane in January with something more than mild interest. Spurs might need Yedlin to be very good, very fast.
Here’s Chelsea’s first goal, a one-two-three effort from Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba that ripped right through Chiriches’ side of the field. Chiriches is the statue behind Lennon who basically watches this entire sequence happen from a lawn chair.
It’s fitting, then, that we have visual evidence of Yedlin enjoying a very different experience with that same Hazard. This came during the knockout round of the World Cup back in the summer. You may remember this. Yedlin tracks down Hazard (who is among the quickest players in England) and marks him to the end line before Hazard loses possession. It’s clinical defending against one of the shiftiest wingers in the world.
In all likelihood Yedlin will not be given playing time out of the gate. First team soccer in the EPL rarely works like that. But with Spurs’ dearth of options on the right, Tottenham might need Yedlin to be very good, very fast. At least as far as current options are concerned, it’d be mighty difficult for him to be any worse than what they have now.