DeAndre Yedlin has revealed that he had doubts about joining Newcastle United last summer.
But after a successful first year on Tyneside the USA international now feels the drop to the Championship has “paid off”.
Having spent a solid year in the Premier League on loan with Sunderland, Yedlin admits he was apprehensive at the prospect of leaving parent club Tottenham Hotspur for St James’s Park.
And the main sticking point was not that he was about to move to the Black Cats’ rivals, but due to the fact he was unsure about playing Championship football.
But having secured promotion back to the top flight, with a second tier winners medal around his neck, Yedlin has absolutely no regrets.
“At first I didn’t like the idea of going down a league,” he told the Washington Post while on international duty this week.
“I know a lot of people would question what I did, the risk I took, but I felt it was the necessary step in my career.
“We went up – and that was the objective all along. It paid off.”
Yedlin had no qualms about making the switch between the North East’s two major clubs but that was not always the case with the fans.
The full-back, who cost United in the region of £5million from White Hart Lane last summer, said: “The passion is like no other place in the country.
“It was mostly on social media [abuse from Sunderland fans].
“I’d see Sunderland fans in the streets; they haven’t been bad to me.
“There will be the occasional fan asking why I would go to Newcastle.
“I don’t expect them to understand. It’s my career and I had to make a choice.”
Having established himself as the club’s regular right-back last season, 23-year-old Yedlin impressed United fans with his pace and lung-busting runs from deep. He added a real threat down the right-hand side.
Yedlin says he hopes to build on his first season in black and white, by producing the goods in next season’s Premier League and beyond.
“There’s something to be said for not worrying about the next move,” he said.
“It’s good to finally be settled in one place and hopefully for a long time.”