Tyler Adams is set to complete his move to Leeds United as a deal worth over $24 million has been agreed upon for the arrival of the USMNT midfielder from RB Leipzig.
Question one: Is this a good move for Tyler Adams? Question 2: Is this a good move for Leeds United?
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Adams, 23, is touted as a replacement for Calvin Phillips (the England international moved to Manchester City for $54.7 million) but anyone who has seen both Adams and Phillips play will know that they are two very different players and Leeds have essentially replaced Phillips with Adams. Mark Roca.
From New York to Leipzig and the international game, Adams always ran smoothly as he rose to the occasion. Is this move good for him? Will it benefit its development and development alike?
Adams can offer something Leeds needs
Under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds were incredibly lopsided and very vulnerable over the counter. This stemmed in large part from not having enough legs and defensive stability in midfield.
Adams will achieve this stability. He’s always been very smart about where he puts himself to get the ball back or help his team recover. His reading of the game is exceptional and one of his main strengths. Leeds have become more balanced in the final months of the 2021-22 season following the arrival of Jesse Marsh and Adams’ arrival will cement their new defensive solidity.
Adams won’t match Phillips’ superb passing ability, but as you can see from the chart below, he’ll try more dribbles and won’t be afraid to make straight passes into the final third. The American also has lower compressions and lower pressure recovery than Phillips, which is very basic to note. Adams would fit Marsh Leeds much better than Bielsa would have suited Leeds.
The New Jersey native is not flashy on the ball but covers a lot of ground and does the dirty work really well. This is what Leeds needed. He might struggle a bit with the high-pressure aspects of their game as he prefers to sit in the middle of the field and put out fires and read the game. When Adams is asked to go further and risk pressing, sometimes he can get sucked in and play easier. Sidenote: His ability to play at full back and pretty much anywhere in midfield and defense is a huge plus.
Calvin Phillips-2021-2022 vs. Tyler Adams-2021-2022, Medfield Cake, Crab Cake pic.twitter.com/3aejgkmhZs
– Crab stats graphics (CrabStats) 4 July 2022
The Marsh factor is key but adapting to the Premier League will be difficult
Making the move to play for a coach he knows well would make playing for Leeds very easy for Tyler Adams.
Marsh sponsored him in the New York Red Bulls then trained him in Leipzig and has now signed with Leeds. Confidence levels are high and that will be huge in helping Adams adjust to a new club, country and league.
Having spoken to Adams in the past, his dream has always been to play in the Premier League and will do so now. It won’t be easy, he knows it, and there are some concerns that he might not adjust well to the pace and strength of PL. in the beginning.
If he struggles early, Adams is a very smart customer and will figure it out quickly. Leeds fans may have to be a little patient with him, but nothing we’ve seen so far suggests he won’t learn quickly and adapt his style of play. Although the English and German Football League are similar in many aspects, the pace and strength of the English Premier League is much higher compared to the German Bundesliga. We’ve seen Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Roberto Firmino and many others initially struggle to adjust to PL before the penny drops.
One thing Leeds fans can be sure of: Adams will always give 100 per cent effort, is willing to learn and is one of the smartest players USMNT has ever had when it comes to tactical intelligence on the field. It’s not Calvin Phillips but Jesse Marsh knows it and knows that Adams will actually play a slightly different role as he and Roca alongside him will nearly replace Phillips as a duo.