TIM Ream may well have found a new home at the New York Stadium.

That is certainly not to suggest the American will be playing at Rotherham United again anytime soon – both he and Dougie Freedman put speculation soundly to bed on that front on Tuesday night.

But while some may have been wondering where the ex-MLS defender would fit in Wanderers’ jigsaw, his appearance at left-back in the opening friendly may well provide a big clue.

By his own admission, Ream has had a difficult 18 months in English football since his switch from the New York Red Bulls. But after Freedman revealed his plan to “experiment” with the 25-year-old at full-back in the next couple of weeks his future at the Reebok looks as secure as it has for some time.

“I played there quite a lot for my youth clubs and university sides so it’s a position I know fairly well,” admitted the defender. “But, if I’m honest, I haven’t played there in four years so it’s a little bit of an adjustment. I’m working on it day by day but I’m trying to pick up on things and, hopefully, I can stake my claim for a starting position.

“You want to play wherever you can best help the team. If the left-back spot is where I can help – either starting, or by pushing Marc (Tierney) to his fullest – then so be it.”

Freedman is not putting pressure on Ream to instantly become the complete full-back but there were signs, particularly in possession, that the US international is up to the task. Besides, the Wanderers boss reckons Ream’s versatility could allow him to better use funds elsewhere in his squad.

“It’s an experiment,” he openly admitted. “I haven’t signed as many players as I’d like to sign right now but I don’t want to go out there and buy someone as a back-up left-back. Tim Ream is a centre-half, let’s make that very clear. But if I can have a centre-half that can cover left-back then the chairman is happy because that saves him a bit of money.

“That’s the reason I wanted Alex Baptiste because he’s a centre-half who can equally play right-back. If Tim Ream can be left-back and centre-back, then that makes it easy.”

Ream was linked with Middlesbrough earlier in the summer – a story laughed off by his own representatives and by the player himself.

“You media types make something up now and then, whether they hear it from anonymous sources or not, but it comes with the territory,” he smirked.

Before his surprise inclusion ahead of David Wheater and Matt Mills against Blackpool on the final day of last season, however, the picture looked less rosy.

Ream had been dropped from the starting line-up after the 2-1 defeat at Watford in February and kept on the bench after loanee Craig Dawson’s huge impact prompted a lengthy unbeaten run.

And though the 2-2 draw on that final day meant the Whites did not make the play-offs, Ream felt his inclusion could have been a turning point on a personal level. “It’s always difficult when you are not playing but it’s hard to argue with going on a winning streak and picking up as many points as we did,” he said. “At that point I was just trying to push the guys in front of me and crack the starting line-up.

“It was definitely a difficult ride and I was happy to play in that last game against Blackpool.

“I know it didn’t work out like I wanted it to, but it showed the confidence the staff have in me. It was a good feeling going into what was not a good time.

“It was a big vote of confidence in pretty much a must-win game going into a very long summer.”