In theory leaving RB Leipzig should not even be a consideration for Tyler Adams this summer. It was only in March that he agreed a new contract tying him to the German side until 2025. Next season he will be reunited with Jesse Marsch, the man who gave him his professional debut at New York Red Bulls in 2016.
“To again meet up with him, go after trophies together, compete in the Champions League together, will be really special,” Adams said earlier this month when discussing the prospect of working alongside Marsch again. “Anytime you can be coached by an American in Europe it will be really cool.”
Whoever the manager, Adams has been and looks set to be a key cog in Leipzig. The US international featured in 27 of their 34 Bundesliga games this season and played 62 percent of available minutes. But for injuries early and late in the campaign both those figures would be higher The that he also played every minute of the Champions League round of 16 tie against Liverpool offers evidence of that.
And yet that reality has done little to dissuade parties in England from monitoring Adams’s situation in the Bundesliga. Arsenal are among the clubs who are seriously interested in the 22-year-old but they are not alone. Indeed CBS Sports understands that several other top-tier Premier League clubs are also showing interest, including teams that are in European competitions, and that some of them are better placed to secure Adams’ signature than the Gunners.
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Though RB Leipzig would be loath to lose Adams they may not be able to do anything about it. Sources have indicated to CBS Sports that the American does have a release clause in his contract which could be activated this summer.
In the Premier League and across the rest of Europe there is growing interest in the burgeoning generation that make up Gregg Berhalter’s US men’s national team. Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Adams have enjoyed strong seasons in sides that have reached the latter stages of the Champions League. That such players would also offer a significant marketing boon in the USA only adds to their appeal.
For the Gunners in particular the appeal of Adams lies in his versatility. In his 66 games for Leipzig the New Yorker has predominantly been deployed as one of two defensive midfielders but for Arsenal he would more frequently be used as a right back, albeit one who occupies more central areas with Mikel Arteta preferring players in that position who can step infield whilst Kieran Tierney overlaps on the left flank.
Arteta’s side are expected to aggressively pursue options in the position if Hector Bellerin gets his wish to depart this summer though they may find it a tough task to secure the likes of Adams without European football. CBS Sports exclusively revealed in February that the vice captain intends to depart Arsenal, who have set a $28million price for the Spaniard amid interest from La Liga.
Tyler Adams in action for the USMNT
Though most of Adams’ football in recent years has come in central midfield, he has shown many of the attributes English clubs would covet in a fullback. He completes 57 percent of the take-ons he attempts in the Bundesliga and Champions League when deployed down the right and averages 6.39 ball recoveries, significantly higher than the 5.44 that is the average mark for Premier League right backs.
Arsenal are not the only club on the lookout for options down their right side. Chelsea are looking to strengthen in that position to provide competition for Reece James and whilst their current focus is on the pursuit of Achraf Hakimi, Adams would be a comfortable fit for Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-3 system.
Adams’ versatility at such a young age means he will invariably be highly prized if he continues on his current trajectory in Germany. Equally that type of player is one Leipzig will be reluctant to lose him even if they need to trim their squad numbers as chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff acknowledged would be the case earlier this year. Whether he stays or whether he goes, it is clear that Adams is not short on admirers.