By George Overhill

3rd Dec, 2022 | 3:40pm

Jurgen Klinsmann hails special US captain Tyler Adams route to Leeds United live on BBC

Tyler Adams is “very, very special” for the way he went to Europe early and fought his way to Leeds United, according to Jurgen Klinsmann.

The 23-year-old is drawing plenty of praise for captaining the USMNT to the knockout stages in Qatar, and ahead of their last-16 match with the Netherlands on Saturday he was again singled out.

German World Cup winner and former USA manager Klinsmann hailed the Whites midfielder for his leadership of a “fearless” group, while fellow BBC pundits Alex Scott and Micah Richards have been particularly impressed with the three man group he completes with Yunus Musah and Weston McKinnie.

Speaking live before kick-off on the BBC match coverage (3 December, 2.48pm) Klinsmann said: “This kid is very, very special. Tyler always went the difficult way. He went early to Europe, he fought his way through different clubs.

“He’s so highly respected by all his teammates, they always look to him when things go wrong. He’s not always so vocal, Weston McKinnie is a more outgoing kid, he’s more quiet. But he’s leading that young group and they are fearless, absolutely fearless.”

Richards then added: “These three [Adams, Musa, McKinnie] are outstanding. I was watching them closely against England and England didn’t know how to deal with them. It’s not just their energy, they’ve got quality as well.

And Scott said finally: “We’ve all been so impressed by them because they’re the heartbeat of the team.”

Crunch time

Arguably aside from the group game against Gareth Southgate’s side where the trio negated most of the Three Lions’ attacking threat, Adams and company now have their biggest test of the tournament.

If they are able to make it past Louis van Gaal’s Dutch side then they will undoubtedly have to been considered as dark horses to go all the way.

An early Memphis Depay goal gave them a mountain to climb, but as Klinsmann says they are a fearless young side, so until the final whistle goes they can’t be counted out.

The experience and the growth that Adams has shown during the international tournament should be a positive development for Jesse Marsch and Leeds United.

The Elland Road boss will be hoping now that his key midfielder avoids injury and isn’t affected by a heartbreaking exit.

Adams is bound to be a central part of whatever United are able to achieve this season, having proven himself an impressive figure on the international stage.

Establishing himself in the Bundesliga, Premier League and at the World Cup by the age of 23 highlights what a strong signing the club appear to have made this year.

In other Leeds United news, one fellow midfielder in the Premier League squad is headed for a January loan exit to play under his former manager.