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USMNT left back Robinson making waves with Wigan

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There’s a good chance that the United States men’s national team secured its right back of the future when Ajax defender Sergino Dest announced his decision to forego a possible switch to the Netherlands.

Is the USMNT’s long-sought answer at left back springing forth about 550 miles away in England?

[ MORE: Dest a win for Berhalter ]

Antonee Robinson, 22, left Everton for Wigan Athletic this summer following a terrific loan stint, and is now thriving in his second season with the Football League Championship side. His 1237 league minutes trail only veteran goalkeeper David Marshall.

Robinson is averaging 2.6 tackles and two interceptions per game show a steadiness without the ball, but the bell-ringing stat is his 26 successful dribbles. That’s a Top Ten figure in the league, just behind Jack Harrison and sea of attacking minds.

He wanted to it to happen at Everton, but his path was blocked by the club’s Player of the Season (Lucas Digne) and its player of the last 10 years (Leighton Baines).

“It’s a shame, because you’re sat watching training when you want to be joining in, but that’s football,” Robinson said. “There’s only so long you can wait. They brought in Lucas (Digne) in my position who was probably their best player last season and they had Bainesy who is one of the best left-backs to have played in the Premier League. I had to come here and play. Get thrown in and either sink or swim.”

He admits his $2.5 million move to Wigan is meant to earn him a place back in the big time. If he can manufacture another few months like this, that may happen this summer if the Latics cannot get promoted (They sit nine points back of the last playoff spot).

Playmaking left backs who can handle their defensive responsibilities are worth a lot more than what Wigan paid, and the profit would be welcome.

Americans Abroad: Championship and 2.Bundesliga primer

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Plenty of focus over the next few weeks will be given to the many Americans playing in the Premier League and Bundesliga, but the seasons of several USMNT prospects, alumni, or current players in the lower levels are already underway.

[ MORE: Messi suspended ]

We already showed you Julian Green’s terrific goal for 2.Bundesliga side Gruether Furth on Friday. Here is a list of several other Yanks to monitor this season in Europe.

English Championship

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic — The Latics purchased Robinson from Everton, and USMNT fans will be hoping the left back continues to grow with full-time duty in England’s second tier.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — Reading also liked what it saw from the gumption-filled American center back, and Frank Lampard has shipped the former New York Red Bull out for a second stint.

Andrija Novakovich, Reading — A loan stint in the Eredivisie saw goals in bunches, but some cold streaks. Can he earn regular playing time at his parent club?

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tigers captain has been a mainstay in England, and has performed well when called upon by the national team. He just hasn’t been called too often.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The longtime Stoke City man just signed a deal to return to the R’s.

Duane Holmes, Derby County — Will the creative midfielder rebound from his summer injury to impress new manager Phillip Cocu.

Tim Ream, Fulham — The longtime defender is back with the Cottagers following relegation to the second tier.

Luca De La Torre, Fulham — At 21, he’ll have a chance to impress Scott Parker. Relegation was good to the young center midfielder.

Also of note: Cameron Carter-Vickers is currently with Spurs, as he’s yet to play in preseason due to injury. He’s been linked with a loan to Leeds United after spending last season on loan to Swansea City and Ipswich Town. There’s also Lynden Gooch at Sunderland, still in League One after failing in a bid to reclaim a place in the Championship. Gboly Ariyibi of Nottingham Forest is reportedly wanted by Motherwell after a loan stint there last season. QPR’s Giles Phillips has been loaned to League One’s Wycombe Wanderers.

2.Bundesliga

Green, Greuther Furth — In addition to Friday’s goal, he’s gone 90 in both of Furth’s matches so far this season.

Khiry Shelton, Paderborn — He’s yet to appear in a match through two matches this season, but made two sub appearances last season.

Kevin Lankford, FC St. Pauli — The 20-year-old left winger is yet to appear for FCSP through two weeks.

Bobby Wood, Hamburg — The same is true for Wood, who went on loan to Hannover 96 last season.

There are several other dual nationals, like Ken Gipson of Sandhausen, but they are not yet on the USMNT radar.

Transfer rumor roundup: USMNT back on the move in England

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Left backs! Get your left backs here!

We’ll learn a bit more about how much a Premier League club values an American asset in the next couple of weeks.

Everton left back Antonee Robinson spent last season on loan at Wigan Athletic, and the Latics are said to have bid to bring the seven-times capped 21-year-old from Merseyside to Greater Manchester.

Robinson is yet to appear for Everton on a senior level, but has made 60 appearances between Bolton Wanderers and Wigan on loan the past two seasons.

[ MORE: USMNT faces T&T for first time since Couva ]

He was third on Wigan in tackles-per-game and second in interceptions-per-game.

Everton has 25-year-old Lucas Digne as the easy first choice left back following an incredible season at Goodison Park, and coverage from Leighton Baines. Will it be a sale or a Premier League loan for Robinson this season?

Let’s stay with left backs, and look to a team with one of the best in the Premier League. Liverpool have Andy Robertson, but Jurgen Klopp may be ready to pay nearly $58 million to secure depth at the spot.

The name is Junior Firpo, and the Real Betis man has that figure as his release clause. The Dominican Republic 22-year-old has 43 appearances for Betis and has scored five times with seven assists. He’s also played left mid.

Meanwhile, Arsenal is also looking to improve at left back but went a bit low with their opening salvo to Celtic over Bhoys star Kieran Tierney.

Tierney, 22, has 170 appearances at his young age, having scored eight times with 37 assists. Arsenal apparently bid just under $20 million to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.

Consider that Liverpool bought fellow Scottish left back Robertson from Hull City for around $10 million in 2017, and that Robertson captains the Scotland national team while Tierney is not a regular.

The price for players has leapt since that point, and we imagine the deal won’t get done for under $25-30 million if it’s done at all.

USMNT, Wigan defender Robinson out injured

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U.S. left back Antonee Robinson will miss Thursday’s exhibition at England and next week’s match against Italy after spraining his right ankle in training, an injury expected to sideline him for four weeks.

[ MORE: Pulisic ready to lead USMNT

The 21-year-old defender was hurt during training on Tuesday, the U.S. Soccer Federation said.

Robinson plays for Wigan in England’s second-tier League Championship. He made his U.S. debut in May and has six international appearances.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

USMNT’s Robinson gets new Everton contract, loan to Wigan

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American defender Antonee Robinson has signed a three-year contract with Everton and has been loaned to second-tier Wigan for the 2018-19 season.

[ MORE: 2018-19 Premier League previews ]

The 20-year-old made 30 league appearances and 34 in all during a loan to second-tier Bolton last season. Everton announced his new deal Friday.

[ MORE: Will Marco Silva, $70 million more “fix” Everton? ]

Robinson made his U.S. national team debut on May 28 against Bolivia. He spent part of his youth in White Plains, New York, and was eligible to play for both England and the U.S.

He joined Everton’s youth academy when he was 11.

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