After reports in recent weeks and months had suggested that DeAndre Yedlin was set for a Newcastle exit, it came as a bit of a shock when the USA international was named in the club’s 25-man squad sent to the Premier League for this season.
The right-back has yet to feature at all in the top-flight in the opening five games of the campaign, and hasn’t even been named in the match-day squad for four of them. The only action he has seen, has been two Carabao Cup appearances against Blackburn Rovers and Morecambe respectively.
And speaking after that 7-0 thrashing of Morecambe, Steve Bruce admitted that Yedlin’s future at the club was indeed up in the air. He said: “The most difficult job that I’ve got is keeping everybody happy. Ultimately, we have to make the decision on 22 players. There’s the difficult situation itself. I am sure that DeAndre wants to play regularly.
“We have three recognised right-backs at the club which is not really that healthy to be honest. However, DeAndre is somebody I like, as a pro, as a player.”
In the end, Yedlin couldn’t find himself a new club, and whilst he may have been fearful of missing out on a place in the Magpies’ squad for the Premier League, he wasn’t one of those who were left out.
Sometimes all it takes is for a player to realise just how close he was to leaving for him to truly appreciate what he’s got. Yedlin has now made well over 100 appearances for Newcastle since joining, and Tyneside should well and truly feel like home for him now.
If he can get that motivation again to get back to his best, then he has all the attributes to become a permanent fixture in the starting line-up. His speed is something that the modern game demands, and it was no surprise that former boss Rafa Benitez opened up on how impressed he was when he first saw him.
He revealed: “We were watching some games and we watch a right full-back, and he’s really, really fast. I called my assistant ‘I love this player, how quick’ I like to have this kind of player with some pace.”
Yedlin could shock everyone by making a return from the wilderness.