New RB Leipzig signing Tyler Adams says the prospect of raising his game and following in the footsteps of fellow USA internationals Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent was one of the motivations behind his move to Ralf Rangnick's side.
Adams was officially unveiled as a Leipzig player on Friday, five weeks after his transfer from MLS side New York Red Bulls was confirmed, and immediately got off on the right foot with local media by introducing himself in flawless German: "Hallo, ich bin Tyler. Ich bin sehr glücklich in Leipzig zu sein." (Hello I'm Tyler. I'm very happy to be in Leipzig).
The 19-year-old then went on to discuss, in English, his first impressions of his new surroundings. "At a new club, every new challenge is also a huge opportunity," he said. "I'm very excited to be here and to hit the ground running […] The quality here is high and that's something I'm excited about because that's how you raise your game to the next level and develop as a player."
That will be music to the ears of Rangnick, who has previously said that Adams is already "an immediate option for the midfield". Nevertheless, the nine-time USMNT international is taking nothing for granted and is aware he may have to bide his time before establishing himself in the side: "You have to be a bit more patient for playing time. You have to work hard and work yourself into the team. It's about managing yourself off the field to manage the ups and downs that you'll have."
Adams is no stranger to getting up and down a football pitch either, and is hopeful of being given the chance to showcase his qualities in his preferred holding midfield role: "I'm able to cover ground and break up plays, that's what I'm most known for. The ability in transition to either start attacks quickly or break up plays going the other way, that's something I'm good at."
Adams is the latest in an ever-growing number of American talents in the Bundesliga, and the new Leipzig No.14 was full of praise for his young compatriots already making waves in Germany.
"I know them [Pulisic, McKennie and Sargent] well. I've played with them for a good amount of time now. Josh, Christian and Weston all love the league so much and they've been able to adapt to it so well. Obviously Christian has been at Dortmund a bit longer and he's someone I've followed closely. I'm very close to Weston. He made the move to Schalke and hit the ground running and has done a great job since. Josh Sargent's proven himself with the national team now and has done a good job and is getting more minutes day by day with Werder Bremen."
It seems likely that Adams, who "became the most coveted player in the MLS" according to Rangnick, will likewise be given the chance to prove himself, especially as his coach is not shy in voicing his admiration of the latest addition to his team: "He can play as a defensive midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder, as a playmaker and as a full-back. He's got an unbelievable sense for when to press the opposition."
It remains to be seen whether Adams will be handed his debut when Leipzig return to action on 19 January, but the team's Matchday 18 clash with Pulisic and league leaders Borussia Dortmund would present a veritable baptism of fire.