By Will Butcher
Rafa Benitez could start DeAndre Yedlin against Norwich on Wednesday after speaking highly of him during his pre-match press conference.
The right-back has started the last two games for the Toon at right-back following the suspension of Holland international Vurnon Anita, who is still banned for one more game.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday night’s top-of-the-table encounter against fellow relegated side Norwich, Benitez was quoted by Newcastle’s official Twitter account as saying Yedlin “is doing well” and “he is working hard.”
RB: "Yedlin is doing well in the training sessions – he's working hard. We knew about his potential." #NUFC
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 27, 2016
The former Seattle Sounders and Sunderland speed merchant signed for the Toon during Rafa Benitez’s summer revolution for around £5million, and has since made five appearances in all competitions.
Yedlin, who already has 40 USA caps to his name after making his international debut against South Korea in 2014, has found the net once for Newcastle after coming off the bench to secure a 2-0 win against Derby.
The right-back made 25 appearances in the Premier League last term for Sunderland across all competitions and made a strong impression with his defending and pace when attacking during his time at the club.
Yedlin was surplus to requirements after returning to White Hart Lane from his Sunderland loan spell, with English pair Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier ahead of Yedlin in the battle for the right-back role.
A win against Alex Neil’s Norwich on Wednesday night will reduce the deficit between the two sides to just one point, with the Toon potentially moving up to the second automatic promotion spot if results go their way.