It has been anything but a straightforward campaign for RB Leipzig and USA midfielder Tyler Adams. Having made a brilliant start to life in the Bundesliga after his move from the New York Red Bulls, the 21-year-old has seen his progress halted by a series of injuries, limiting him to just five league outings this season.
The current coronavirus outbreak means that Adams will have to wait a few weeks longer – at least until the start of May – to make his comeback for Die Roten Bullen, who currently trail Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race.
In the meantime, Leipzig's rising star sat down for an exclusive chat with bundesliga.com, explaining how he is helping out Americans back home during the coronavirus crisis, keeping busy by studying psychology online, and focusing on his ultimate goal of lifting the Meisterschale.
Watch: Adams teed up Yussuf Poulsen for the second of his two Bundesliga assists in last season's 5-0 demolition of Hertha Berlin (skip to 01:15)
bundesliga.com: Tyler Adams, you've had a rather unusual 2019/20. You missed the first half of the campaign with injury, came back, got injured again, and then just as you were approaching full fitness, the Bundesliga was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak…
Tyler Adams: "I know that these are definitely difficult circumstances to deal with right now. But I think for me personally, it’s just about following the guidelines and doing all the right things, so football can come back sooner rather than later. Obviously, there are things that are more important, and we’re seeing that right in front of our eyes."
bundesliga.com: As you say, some things are more important. To that end, along with fellow USA teammates Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic, you've teamed up with Feeding America to help people back home deal with the consequences of the coronavirus...
Adams: "I'm always someone who values the importance of other peoples' well-being before my own. Being able to make a donation to something like that means a lot to us. We know that this non-profit organisation will be able to do a lot with the money we've donated. Those are things that are important."
bundesliga.com: How are you keeping busy during lockdown?
Adams: "I'm still studying psychology at an online university, which has helped me kind of stay in tune with the day and not lose too much focus. I'm trying to minimise downtime as much as possible."
bundesliga.com: You've been limited to just five Bundesliga appearances this season, but the club clearly believes in you - Julian Nagelsmann made you a first-team regular after your arrival from New York in January 2019, and you've just signed a contract extension through to 2025…
Adams: "Although I'm not playing, I'm still learning a lot, under a new manager, the tactics and stuff like that. I've still learned a lot of new information and I'm trying to process that kind of stuff. When I'm fully fit and ready to go again, I'm entering the season buzzing, and I'm ready to make a big impact."
bundesliga.com: At just 21 years of age, you've already had to deal with a fair amount of adversity, especially in terms of injuries. How hard is it to cope with these setbacks?
Adams: "I think for me as a young player, it's important to have a season like this. It's going to be good to look back on that and say, 'that was a tough part of my career, but now I'm entering the best part of my career'."
bundesliga.com: Leipzig are currently third in the Bundesliga behind Bayern and Dortmund. Assuming the remaining nine league games can be played, what's the objective for the rest of 2019/20?
Adams: "I think that as a team, we know that our goal is to win the Bundesliga. As an individual, that's my goal. All I've ever wanted to do is win!"