DeAndre Yedlin says it was an easy decision to return to the North East to sign for Newcastle United.
Yedlin joined the in the summer from Tottenham Hotspur in a £5million deal.
The defender spent last season on loan at Sunderland and played in both derbies.
Yedlin didn’t directly cross the Tyne-Wear divide, having returned to his parent club before signing for Newcastle.
But the USA international still paused for thought before committing to United given his former association with the club’s rivals.
“Obviously, it’s something that I thought about,” said Yedlin.
I had to make the best decision for me. That’s what I did. I have nothing against Sunderland. I had a great experience there, and made great friends there, but now I’m at Newcastle, and that’s where my focus is.DeAndre Yedlin
“But, at the end of the day, I had to make the best decision for me.
“That’s what I did. I have nothing against Sunderland.
“I had a great experience there, and made great friends there, but now I’m at Newcastle, and that’s where my focus is.”
Yedlin was keen to return to the North East, having been settled off the pitch during his season at Sunderland.
The Seattle-born player feels “comfortable” in the region.
“That was a big factor in my decision,” said the 23-year-old.
“When I first came to London, it was a bit different to what I’d expected.
“I thought moving to a big city would be a very cool thing for me.
“But Seattle’s not the biggest city. It’s more like Newcastle.
“I think I’m more comfortable here. That was a big factor in my decision.”
Yedlin, preparing for the USA’s historic friendly against Cuba in Havana, is unfazed by the demands of the 46-game Championship.
And the right-back has labelled the experience of working under United manager Rafa Benitez as “unbelievable”.
“Especially as a younger player, this league is great as there is so many games,” he said.
“It’s a great move for me to come here, and working under Rafa has been unbelievable.”
Yedlin is grateful for the support and encouragement he has had from USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who had two playing spells in the Premier League with Tottenham.
“It’s been my goal since I was a kid to play over here,” said pacy Yedlin, who went to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“Jurgen has shown so much trust in me.
“Even when I was at Tottenham, and I wasn’t playing or in the squad, he was calling me up to camps so I could get game time.
“He has been instrumental in my development as a player.
“Jurgen has been huge in the whole movement of my career.”
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez rested Yedlin for the weekend’s Championship game against Rotherham United.
Yedlin had been nursing an ankle problem ahead of the game at the New York Stadium, which Benitez’s side won 1-0 to stay third in the Championship.