Tyler Adams has signed a new long-term deal with RB Leipzig, little over a year after joining the club from New York Red Bulls. bundesliga.com explains why the move is a no-brainer for all concerned...
In many ways, Adams is the prototypical Leipzig player. The Saxony outfit have a philosophy of signing only the young and gifted, and their No.14 ticks both boxes. He joined the club at 20, turned 21 in February of 2020 and will still only be 26 when his new contract - dated until summer 2025 - expires. Theoretically, the New Yorker won't even have peaked by that point.
"I'm really happy that I have extended my contract with Leipzig and can continue to be part of this fantastic and ambitious club," Adams said. "I want to thank the club and my family for bringing me here and supporting me."
Adams made the switch to much fanfare in January 2019, but has more than lived up to the hype. He made his debut in a 4-0 win away to Fortuna Düsseldorf, and went on to enjoy a nine-match unbeaten start to his Leipzig career.
Although a groin issue forced Adams to miss a handful of matches between March and May 2019, the 10-time US international finished his debut half-season with two assists in 10 league appearances, as well as a DFB Cup runners-up medal, to his name. He averaged the most sprints of any Leipzig player at 35 per 90 minutes; only Diego Demme and Bruma covered more ground; while three interceptions per game was the best ratio of any of his teammates.
"He has an uncanny sense of the situation when it comes to going out to win the ball," commented former coach and sporting director Ralf Rangnick. "It's what we expected from him - continuing his form from the MLS. It feels like he has been with us for a long time."
By Adams' own admission, the transition from MLS breakout star - he made 52 appearances in the USA's premier division - to playing regular first-team football in one of Europe's top five leagues has been "seamless". He credits the club for smoothing the process, but his own application deserves applause.
"I describe myself as 'fearless,', Adams told soccer.com. "I like to run a lot and do a lot of things on the field other guys don't want to do. I like to break up play, get struck into tackles. I kinda won't stop working. I try to be the engine of the team.
"I'm also very goal-orientated. Growing up I remember watching Thierry Henry on TV, thinking one day I want to be in that position. My brothers, my Dad helped me reach that goal. Whether it was practising in the back yard or working on my left foot because I couldn't pass the ball with it, all these progressions made a difference. My parents also sacrificed a lot.
"Now I can say I made the right steps: I went to the USL team with New York, and then signed for the first team in the MLS. Then I made the step to RB Leipzig, which is a huge club. I'm getting opportunities that I never would have thought I would have."
Watch: Tyler Adams wants titles with Leipzig
Modesty aside, Adams has earned his shot at the big time. Injury has interrupted his progress in 2019/20, but the fact he has started all five games for which he has been available underlines just how highly he is regarded by coach Julian Nagelsmann. Tellingly, Leipzig only lost one of them.
"It was tough being out," Adams recalled. "You have to do rehab every day with the same person. Remembering that feeling ultimately gave me the hunger to get back out there and want to play the game I love. I just want to play, and improve every day."
There are not many who can match Leipzig's ambition levels - but Adams is one of them. The kid from the Big Apple has bitten down with such force in his short time on German soil that he now ranks among the best young midfielders not just in the Bundesliga, but in the world game. The next five years could be a golden era for player and club alike.