Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By RYAN TOLMICH
After all of the rumors, discussions and negotiations that have paved the way, DeAndre Yedlin is finally a Tottenham Hotspur player, even if just in name only for the moment.
The U.S. Men’s National Team fullback is set to stay with Seattle Sounders for at least the duration of the 2014 MLS season. Technically, according to Sounders owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer, Yedlin will be officially recognized as a Sounders player until he makes his way over to London to join his new team.
“It is no earlier than the transfer window at the beginning of our season in January,” Hanauer said on a teleconference to describe the club’s plans for Yedlin. “I don’t want to put words in Spurs’ mouth, but they would like to assess where things are at with their club at that time and potential work permit issues at that time with DeAndre and assess how he’s been doing with us and whether it’s the right time to fit him into their squad or whether they make the decision, at that time, to let him stay with us for another period of time, until the summer window a year from now.”
Until then, Yedlin remains a member of the MLS club. However, there will come a point in time where Yedlin will join Spurs, with the two teams having agreed to a $3.5 million fee, according to Goal.com, that Hanauer said will be paid in increments.
Hanauer insisted that Yedlin’s path to Spurs was made much simpler due to a July 19 friendly between the two clubs, after which negotiations progressed “slowly but consistently”. Both sides used the friendly to discuss the potential deal and, despite interest from numerous other teams, Hanauer felt at that point that a move to Spurs was what was best for all involved.
“We thought it was a good decision for our club, although a difficult one, but a good decision,” Hanauer said. “We’re in a sport where this happens. Every club in the world sells players.
“It’s just a question of the benefits and the drawbacks and we ultimately decided that this was a good decision for us and DeAndre clearly wanted this transaction to occur as well, because he certainly has a say in it and we want to do right by our players in addition to doing right by our club.”
The club will now look to move forward with what was generated by Yedlin’s sale, as Hanauer went on to say that the club will be reinvesting the money throughout different avenues of upgrading the team.
“It provides us with some cash to reinvest in many aspects of our soccer business that we want,” Hanauer said. “Whether that is the youth side, that hopefully allows us to develop two or three or four more DeAndre Yedlins, or Designated Players or other soccer facilities or infrastructure that will hopefully position us with strength going forward.”
Despite the club’s impact on Yedlin, who rose from college athlete to Premier League signing in roughly two years, the Sounders general manager gave all credit to the player, who he is excited to retain in the quest for an MLS Cup.
“Ultimately, all the credit has to go to DeAndre,” Hanauer said, “who has been humble and modest and hard-working and a great teammate and dedicated to improving day-in and day-out on the field.
“There’s been a lot of people that have touched his soccer development and his development as a human being and it’s all been a masterful job, but ultimately, the kid, DeAndre, is responsible for most of it.”