Brendan Rodgers looks to add more youthful energy to his roster before the season starts next month.
Rodgers has the Reds eyeing DeAndre Yedlin as a possible help at fullback, but he may need to speed up his evaluations, according to Tom Seymour and caughtoffside.com
Yedlin, a 20-year-old American right back, played in three games for the United States of America in the 2014 World Cup.
He logged 18 minutes in his World Cup debut against Portugal, in which he made a streaking run down the side and played the ball in that eventually led to Clint Dempsey’s goal in the 81st minute. Yedlin subbed on in the 32nd minute against Belgium and played 88 solid minutes in the round-of-16 game.
Yedlin currently plays for the Seattle Sounders of MLS. He plays for a $92,000 contract (£60,000 a year) and he is speculated to have the smallest contract of any player at the 2014 World Cup. Which leaves European clubs drooling over the possibility of signing this promising kid for a minimal price.
Liverpool scouts claim to have had their eye on Yedlin since they saw him play in the 2013 U-20 World Cup. However, Liverpool still only seems interested in bringing in Yedlin on loan. Other suitors, such as the American owned Italian club AS Roma, seem ready to buy out Yedlin from Seattle and MLS.
Rodgers appears to like the flexibility Yedlin offers for any squad, but he is mulling over multiple players that could come in and reinforce a backline that features Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan already playing outside back. While Yedlin can play either spot on the back line, he can also push up to a winger position get forward a lot more.
Yedlin has admitted he needs to improve on his off-the-ball marking on defense, but the potential should fall outweigh that one piece of negativity. His college coach has nothing but praise for Yedlin, even though they now are bitter rivals, as Yedlin is in Seattle and Caleb Porter now coaches for the Portland Timbers.
“As a winger, he is probably a dime a dozen. Shift him to an outside back, and he’s special. You don’t see that kind of outside back that’s as athletic as him,” Porter told the Seattle Times a year ago while Yedlin was thriving at the U-20 World Cup.
Yedlin brings potential and question marks. How soon can he play and survive in EPL football at age 20? Where would he succeed at on the pitch? He has Brendan Rodgers’ interest, but Rodgers should expedite his thought process before some other club scoops up America’s rising star.