USMNT star Tyler Adams explains why he isn’t Leeds United’s new Kalvin Phillips
- Whites sold England international to Man City
- United States captain acquired
- American not looking to fill anybody's boots
WHAT HAPPENED? Comparisons between midfield generals of past and present at Elland Road are inevitable, with the Whites looking for another combative performer to step up after sanctioning a £42 million ($51m) transfer to Manchester City for home-grown star Phillips in the summer of 2022. United States international Adams was among those drafted in to help fill that void, as the 24-year-old arrived from RB Leipzig for £20m ($24m), but he is eager to earn cult hero status without being likened to the man that previously filled his role in Leeds’ engine room.
WHAT THEY SAID: USMNT star Adams has told Kagey’s YouTube channel: “Kalvin is a special player, obviously Leeds through and through. What he did for the club speaks for itself. He was a pivotal part of their success and obviously the rise to the Premier League and keeping them there. When I came here, I knew that's who everyone was going to think I'm replacing. They were probably thinking ‘what kind of player are we getting? What kind of person are we getting? He’s not born and bred in Leeds’. I know Kalvin Phillips will always hold a special place in a lot of people's hearts throughout the club and the city. But, for me, it was a huge opportunity to take the step to the Premier League.
“Leaving a massive club like RB Leipzig who play in the Champions League is never easy. But I knew this is a step I wanted to take in my own career. So when people were asking me ‘how are you going to fill the shoes of Kalvin Phillips?’ I looked at them like ‘no, that was never the plan.’ I didn't even think of Kalvin. I knew what he did for the club and how important he was but, for me, I wanted to come, show my qualities and who Tyler Adams is. I don't want to be like somebody or be like anybody. I just want to be myself. And I know when I do that I can be a top player and a top person.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Adams has made 22 appearances for Leeds so far, with many of those outings being taken in alongside fellow countrymen Brenden Aaronson and Weston McKennie.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Leeds find themselves caught up in another Premier League survival scrap, with Adams – who captained his country at the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar – required to lead by example in the middle of the park as the Whites seek to avoid slipping through a trapdoor that leads back down into the Championship.