DeAndre Yedlin Gets Work Permit, will Move to Spurs in January

DeAndre Yedlin Tottenham

by RYAN BRISTER
Staff Writer

Seattle Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin has been able to acquire a UK work permit, which means he’ll be able to complete his move to Tottenham Hotspur in January.

Yedlin, 21, was sold to Spurs in the summer for a reported transfer fee of $4 million, but stayed with Seattle for the remainder of the season. The Sounders won the Supporters’ Shield and reached the Western Conference final.

Yedlin has had a meteoric rise in just the past two years. He signed as the Sounders’ first homegrown player in January 2013, and was an all-star in his rookie season. He earned international attention for his performance at this summer’s World Cup. Yedlin made three appearances off the bench, most impressively against Eden Hazard and Belgium. Spurs were just one of several teams interested in Yedlin following the World Cup.

Tottenham has been welcoming to American players over the past decade and a half. Keepers Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel both played for Spurs, and Clint Dempsey spent a year with the club before being sold to Seattle. Currently, they have a glut of right backs led by Kyle Walker, but their presence in the Europa League might allow Yedlin to see some playing time.

The UK has particularly strict work permit rules for non-E.U. citizens, a fact that stymied Juan Agudelo’s planned move to Stoke City. Typically, a player needs to have appeared in three-fourths of his national team’s games over the previous two years, which Yedlin has not. It was thought that he could work around this by acquiring a Latvian passport through his grandfather, but that will not be needed.