On-loan Spurs defender DeAndre Yedlin insists he is in the right shape to immediately challenge for a starting spot at Sunderland.
Deadline day capture Yedlin has made just one domestic appearance since arriving at Spurs from MLS side Seattle Sounders in January, with the full-back largely limited to Under-21 football, other than his appearances for the USA.
The 22-year-old adds to Sunderland’s contingent of summer signings lacking match sharpness, with the likes of Fabio Borini, Ola Toivonen and Jeremain Lens all working to knock off the rust.
But after completing two 90-minute outings for his country during the international break – albeit on the right side of midfield rather than in his favoured right-back spot – Yedlin believes he can make an immediate contribution for Sunderland.
“I think right now I’m in pretty good shape,” he said.
“I just played two 90 minutes games with the US, although I was playing right midfield.
“I got those games under my belt, so I think I’m ready to last a 90-minute game now.
“Every day on the training pitch, or in the game, it’s a time to prove yourself. Hopefully I’ll get my chance and can show what I can do.”
Yedlin was ineligible to make his Sunderland bow last weekend against parent club Spurs, who were happy to sanction his departure on a season-long loan at the end of the summer window, following interest from sides across Europe.
The defender initially agreed a deal with Spurs 12 months ago, before being allowed to finish the MLS season on loan at Seattle, and then formally arriving at White Hart Lane in January.
But Yedlin’s only Premier League appearance came during an April defeat at Aston Villa and he admits that he needs to prove himself during his Sunderland stint. He said: “Yeah, I’d definitely liked to have played more for Spurs.
“Playing for the US is very important, but club football is what you’re doing year-round. That’s what keeps you sharp.
“I would have loved to break into that first team at Spurs, but it didn’t happen.
“But I’ve landed here and hopefully I can show what I have and can get back in the groove.
“It will be a challenge. I love a challenge.”
Yedlin – who says he is more “comfortable” at right-back than left-back – is unlikely to go straight into the Sunderland starting XI for Saturday’s trip to newly-promoted Bournemouth, with fellow full-backs Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt producing a significant improvement against Spurs.
Tuesday’s Capital One Cup third round tie against Manchester City looks a more likely opportunity for Yedlin to make his debut, yet he hopes his new employers can grab their first Premier League win of the campaign this weekend on the south coast.
“I don’t know what the manager will be thinking for the cup game, but if I get my chance and opportunity, I’ll give it all I’ve got,” he added.
“I thought we played very well last Sunday and obviously I know a lot of the players in the Spurs team.
“If we can build on that performance going into the Bournemouth game, then I think we have a great opportunity to get that win.”