By George Overhill

14th Sep, 2022 | 5:10pm

Tyler Adams is the the perfect player for Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch because he “epitomises” everything the coach wants to do, says Mike Grella.

The 23-year-old arrived from RB Leipzig in the summer and has proven to be arguably the pick of the new signings with his combative displays in the midfield.

And former Leeds winger Grella, who played with him at New York Red Bulls when the Whites manager was in charge there believes his “toughness” is was marks him out, recalling an eye-opening fight he had with a teammate at the MLS side as how the youngster proved himself.

Grella told the Guardian: “Toughness is probably his biggest thing. And it’s real toughness. You look at him and he’s not very big, he’s not very imposing. But the toughness is within – his attitude, his ferociousness, his ability to cover so much ground, his ability to be a good team-mate.

“He got into a little scrap with one of the senior players and held his own. He actually kind of beat him up a little bit. Even though he was just as kid, to draw a line and physically stand up for yourself, it was impressive. From that day, we were like, ‘Yeah, this kid’s legit.’

“He epitomises everything Jesse wants to do: from the way he wants to play to his mentality, character, all that. Tyler Adams is the perfect fit for what Jesse wants.”


Leeds United needed a big presence in the centre of the park having sold local hero Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City, and they certainly got that with Adams.

He has already shown he doesn’t back down from virtually any challenge in his short time at Elland Road, and has taken to the Premier League as well as any of the new arrivals.

It was a clear strategy over the summer to bring in players familiar with the Marsch outlook and it can only be a positive for the manager’s plans that they look to have got his embodiment on the pitch.

The boss has been trying to rev things up from the sidelines this season but he can only do so much when he is not actually part of the team so having Adams out there will be invaluable to him over time.

It is clear from what we have seen, and the insight from Grella, that despite his relatively young age he can be the enforcer in this side.

Brenden Aaronson, another former Marsch player from the Red Bull empire may have stolen the early headlines, while Luis Sinisterra has come into his own recently, it is probably Adams who has been the most consistent in his new side.

It appears that he won the respect of his teammates in New York in true prison-yard style, and while he presumably didn’t need to do the same in West Yorkshire, Liam Cooper has been injured since before the season started so who knows.

His performances on the pitch have proven his worth already and Marsch is sure to be delighted with the acquisition.

In other Leeds United news, they have been accused of forcing a player out of the club who wanted to stay.