Football rivalries are as trivial as they’re ‘everything’. Friends fall out over them, people are arrested because of them and opinions are formed from them.
However, the rivalries only mean a lot to those who shell out the pounds to watch their beloved ‘heroes’, with footballers jumping across to enemy lines more often than someone wanted to punch Danny Dyer at V Festival last weekend.
DeAndre could be the latest player to make the ‘forbidden’ crossover in the North East, with Newcastle United reportedly interested in bringing the Tottenham defender to the Championship. This is in spite of the fact he played on loan for bitter rivals Sunderland last season.
Yedlin, who arrived at White Hart Lane off the back of an impressive World Cup with the USA, has seemingly struggled to impress Mauricio Pochettino enough to warrant a place in the Argentine’s plans for this season. He’s with Kieran Trippier ahead of the right-back in the pecking order behind first-choice, Kyle Walker.
Given that the former Seattle Sounders speed merchant was one of the rare shining lights in Sunderland’s relegation-threatened campaign, it’s surprising that Yedlin hasn’t yet found himself another Premier League club – especially with Spurs asking for just £4million for the American.
Although dropping down to the Championship is seen as taking a step backwards, it would actually represent a sensible, long-term step for the 23-year-old, with Newcastle rebuilding under Rafael Benitez – a manager too good for the second-tier of English football. He’s also bringing in players too good for the Championship.
Would definitely take Yedlin, we're in desperate need for genuine full backs, can't keep playing Anita right back anyways #nufc
— KidWithEye (@KidWithEye) August 21, 2016
Yedlin’s pace not only makes him an absolute beauty to play with on FIFA 16. It also makes him wasted as a full-back, especially in a team like Pochettino’s, who demands such high defensive-minded pressing game.
There’s an easy win to be had for Benitez. With Yedlin moved to a more advanced right-wing position – something Harry Redknapp realised about Gareth Bale – people forget that Bale failed to win any of his first 24 games as a Spurs player and was very nearly sold to Birmingham as a flop.
We forget that Yedlin impressed at the 2014 World Cup, the tournament in which Spurs moved to sign him, by coming on as a right-winger with Fabian Johnson continuing in the right-back role. Yedlin was signed due to the excitement he brought, the nightmare he gave defenders and the all-round attacking impetus he added to the American attack, and all in just 112 minutes of football in Brazil.
It begs the question, why are Spurs rumoured to be signing Georges-Kevin N’koudou from Marseille when they could have the answer already within their ranks?