RB Leipzig's USA international Tyler Adams says he is happy to line up anywhere in Julian Nagelsmann's team, but insists "playing as a number six is still my favourite position".
The 21-year-old's versatility and in-game intelligence mean he has been fielded all over the pitch in his career so far, including at right-back, as a right winger and even at centre-back in Leipzig’s 3-0 DFB Cup first round win against Nuremberg in early September.
"A lot of players operate in different positions with us and I have to be able to play in various positions too," Adams told kicker.
Watch: A USA groupchat with Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent and Gio Reyna
Nevertheless, having been schooled as a defensive midfielder in the New York Red Bulls academy, and having played there in 19 of his 26 Bundesliga outings to date, it remains his preferred role in the side, saying: "playing as a number six is still my favourite position."
He is eager to continue sharpening that particular tool in his armoury, aware he can still get better: "I need to improve my positioning when we have the ball so that I'm always available to receive a pass, even in difficult situations. I've already improved a lot in this regard, but I need to keep working on myself."
Adams should have the chance to do that over the coming games. Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer - who has dropped into defensive midfield under Nagelsmann from a more wide attacking role - is currently working his way back from injury and will be sidelined for the Matchday 4 trip to Augsburg.
Not only that, but Konrad Laimer, who also usually anchors the Leipzig midfield from deep, is recovering from a knee complaint, giving Adams an opportunity to further stake his claim in the side.
He played the full 90 minutes in Die Roten Bullen’s first three competitive games in 2020/21, but missed the Matchday 3 triumph over Schalke with a back complaint.
Injuries have sidelined Adams more than he would have liked since joining the club in January 2019, but the powers-that-be have been sufficiently impressed with his displays to reward him with a new contract valid until 2025.