After taking to life in Germany’s top flight like few before him, RB Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch has described American Tyler Adams as a “special talent” destined to make an impact in the Bundesliga.
While injury has curtailed his campaign for the time being, Adams is still yet to taste defeat as a Leipzig player in nine top-flight outings. An impressive record that, coupled with his dynamic and driven performances, have only further stoked the hype surrounding the 20-year-old.
“The ceiling is massive for him, everyone can see that,” Leipzig assistant coach Marsch said on Sports Illustrated’s Planet Fútbol TV show. “I obviously played a part in Tyler, and the relationship with the club, and the eventual move to come here. I knew he’d do well.”
Watch: Tyler Adams settling in at RB Leipzig
A combative and creative midfielder, Adams has all the qualities to thrive in Leipzig’s high-octane system. Swapping the Big Apple for Eastern Germany cannot have been an easy decision, but it’s one that’s been validated by the manner in which he’s adapted to the demands of the Bundesliga.
“The game is played at a much faster pace, you have less time on the ball and much less room to manoeuvre,” Adams told Sportbuzzer. “Mistakes are ruthlessly punished, you’ve got to be online all the time, you can never relax. The Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world and that’s how it feels.”
The numbers Adams has put up in just 659 minutes of top-flight action are befitting a seasoned pro, not a Bundesliga debutant. He’s won 50 per cent of his challenges and boasts an 84.6 per cent pass completion rate, two of which provided eye-catching assists, with Yussuf Poulsen the beneficiary. Yet it still feels like the American has barely scratched the surface of his potential.
“I think he’s exceeded my expectations, our expectations,” continued Marsch. “There’s been some talk, like I’ve done so much to help Tyler, adapt and do well here. I don’t think it’s hurt, but Tyler is the reason Tyler has been successful.
“He’s a special person, he’s a special personality, he’s a special talent and the ceiling for him is massive. Massive here in Leipzig and in the Bundesliga and beyond. So I’m proud to be connected with him and to have played a role in his development and I can’t wait to see where he goes from here.”
Watch: Adams: "I have to be patient"
One destination that’s virtually set in stone? Europe’s top table. Leipzig are currently in a commanding position to clinch a top-four finish against Freiburg on Saturday and, with it, UEFA Champions League qualification for the second time in the club’s history.
“The atmosphere in the changing rooms is good and the results have matched it,” said Adams. “We’re currently experiencing an intense and successful period, but we’re well aware that we’ve got to throw everything into every game and training session.”
Mature enough to admit that “at 20, I have to and want to learn a lot more”, Adams is also aware that his unbeaten start to life in Germany’s top flight will not be a permanent fixture of his career: “I hate losing, but I’m pretty sure that we’ll lose the odd game here and there with me involved. Nevertheless, we’re an attractive side and a club of the future.”