Tyler Adams strengths analysed and key issue amid Liverpool and Leeds United transfer update

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The USA international is a target for Liverpool and has a favourable release clause after being relegated with Leeds United.

Reports are now circulating over Liverpool making a potential move for Leeds United midfielder Tyler Adams after the club missed out on two primary targets.

Brighton’s Moises Caicedo and Southampton’s Romeo Lavia were two key players the club had bidded for, only for both players to choose Chelsea as their final destination leaving Jurgen Klopp’s side struggling for a midfielder signing.

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Their 1-1 draw with Chelsea was a stark reminder that the club is in need of a defensive midfielder to help combat other teams playing so easily through their midfield. But they must hurry, given the window closes in just over two weeks time.

Does he have a release clause?

Adams was a target of Chelsea prior to their move for Lavia; the USA international has a relegation clause in his contract, meaning he could leave the Yorkshire club for a fee of £20m in the event they got relegated, which occurred last season.

Despite Liverpool interest, as it stands, Bournemouth are in the driving seat having already triggered the £20m clause. Paul Joyce of the Times has reported Liverpool’s interest in the midfielder and the fee is certainly far more ideal compared to the high fees required to sign both Lavia and Caicedo.

How did he do last season?

Despite a hamstring injury that ruled him out from March onwards, he had played 24 games up to that point, starting all 24 at the base of Leeds’ midfield. However, he still managed to rank fifth in the league for tackles made with 87 after playing significantly less game time overall - only Casemiro, Idrissa Gueye, Moises Caicedo and Joao Palhinha registered more.

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Adams, 24, is a player who enjoys breaking up play and recycling the ball and whilst he isn’t a player who demands a huge transfer fee, he is someone who could screen Klopp’s defence and be positionally aware of danger. We know this as he ranked extremely high for tackles, blocks and interceptions across last season (FBref).

How would he fit in?

Adams is a natural defensive midfielder and his heatmap, compared to Fabinho’s, shows that he covers more ground in the same area of the pitch - which is probably why he recorded better defensive stats than the former Liverpool midfielder last season.

He often played in a double-pivot with Marc Roca, a player who would be more willing to take the ball and progress it, where Adams remained deeper. Alexis Mac Allister is a player who thrived in a similar position last year with a more defensively-minded player in Caicedo and and Adams would give that base for Klopp’s midfield to thrive with more balance and security.

Injury issue

While he still remains a target, Chelsea pulled out of the deal on August 12 due to their findings during his medical.

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The hamstring injury which kept him out from March 18 onwards required the USMNT midfielder to undergo surgery and he hasn’t appeared for club or country since.

Now, he remains injured and, even if signed, he wouldn’t be able to play straight away as he would need time to recover from a tough injury setback.

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