The Leeds United board has taken much heat after a rocky campaign, but this summer window has been active. Leeds was one of the most active clubs in the Premier League and transformed the identity of the midfield.
The offensive-minded Leeds team under Marcelo Bielsa always needed a CDM to help the back line and almost nonexistent attacking midfielders. Kalvin Phillips developed into that core piece to shut down the opposition, especially with odd numbers from a turnover.
Emerging into an all-around force, Phillips was able to excel defensively while showing off his skills on the other side of the ball. This developed Phillips into a top international performer for England.
With a new home at Manchester City, Phillips will have the bigger Premier and Champions League stage to show his talents.
🆕 Brenden Aaronson
🆕 Luis Sinisterra
🆕 Tyler Adams
🆕 Rasmus Kristensen
Four of Leeds United’s summer signings go straight into their most expensive XI.
Total Cost: £201.9m. 💰 pic.twitter.com/GQo3h9nGG5
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) September 2, 2022
Leeds United’s Tyler Adams
Tyler Adams was brought to the club to play that physical style of defense and shut down some potential offensive chances developing at midfield.
The shift of tactical philosophy under Jesse Marsch would bring a different demand from the midfield as Marsch’s midfield stays on the inside, leading to fewer chances in the middle. More space on the outside puts pressure on the fullbacks.
Adams was seemingly brought into the club to replace one-half of Phillips, while fellow newly signed midfielder Marc Roca would fill Phillips’s offensive side.
Though Adams has been providing stellar defense, he has also provided clarity to Marsch’s system and culture. Between Adams and Brendan Aaronson, the plan for the squad is clear and both players lead by example on the pitch.
Tyler Adams vs. Everton:
88% pass accuracy
75/85 successful passes
12/17 final third passes
8 duels won
7 ball recoveries
4 tackles won
3/6 accurate long passes
2/2 successful take-ons
1 blocked shot
1 time fouled
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) August 30, 2022
Besides Erling Haaland, Adams has been one of the top signings in the early part of Premier League play.
Through the first five matches, Adams has a 52% tackle success rate, with 21 tackles. Additionally, Adams has seven interceptions and six clearances. The US international also ranks third in the Premier League for the most distance covered with 45.3KM covered, only behind Tomas Soucek and (47KM) Pascal Gross (47.5KM).
Adams is all over the pitch and covers a lot of ground during the entire match. If these performances continue, Leeds supporters will be treated to some clean sheets this season.