Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch will no doubt be paying close attention to his key men who are currently featuring for their countries on the World Cup stage, with the American likely to have a particular interest in the displays of compatriot, Tyler Adams.
The 23-year-old – who arrived at Elland Road on a £20m deal from RB Leipzig in the summer – has made a sparkling start to the tournament in Qatar thus far, having helped his nation record two solid draws from their opening two group games.
Only recently appointed as skipper of the United States side, the midfielder has thrived amid that newfound responsibility, having looked particularly impressive during the recent goalless draw with 2018 semi-finalists, England.
That stalemate saw the one-time New York Red Bulls man play a key role in thwarting Gareth Southgate’s side, winning 100% of his aerial duels and winning three of his six ground duels, having also showcased his quality in possession after recording an 87% pass accuracy rate.
That industrious performance saw the 5 foot 9 machine awarded an 8/10 match rating by The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg, with the journalist writing that Adams had been ‘a controlled, efficient presence in a deep position. He passed well and made some important interceptions.’
Such a dominant showing had come after the midfielder had also shone during the opening game draw with Wales, having won eight of his 12 total duels – including six tackles – and achieved a stunning 90% pass accuracy rate, with his match rating of 7.4, as per SofaScore, the highest among his teammates.
Those impactful displays at international level have come following what has been a bright start to life in the Premier League in recent months, with the versatile ace – who can also operate at right-back – having been praised for his form by pundit Noel Whelan, who stated:
“He’s aggressive, he reads the game, he’s never flat-footed – and watching him every week, I have to say that he’s one of the best defensive midfielders in the league at the minute.”
That glowing assessment has come amid reports that the new addition is already attracting interest from rivals Manchester United, with such attention only set to intensify should he continue to thrive in Qatar moving forward.
The fear among Marsch and co will be that Adams is perhaps inadvertently putting himself in the shop window at present, with the Yorkshire side potentially set to enjoy only a fleeting association with the player.
That is the view of pundit Stuart Holden, who said of the 34-cap gem’s latest displays: “Tyler Adams has been outstanding at the World Cup. If he finishes the Premier League season the way he started it, he’ll be off to a top level Champions League team. What a player.”
The hope will be among the Whites that such a scenario does not occur, as Leeds fear seeing such a vital asset poached in the near future.