He's making his way back after a long injury layoff, but RB Leipzig's American prospect Tyler Adams isn't in the mood to waste any more time. The midfielder believes Julian Nagelsmann's young side can win the title.
American midfielder Tyler Adams says he's ready to step up and help RB Leipzig win a first ever Bundesliga title after helping his side to a 3-1 win over Union Berlin on Saturday night.
Leipzig came from behind to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to four points, with Adams making his second appearance of the season, stepping into the midfield void left by the departed Diego Demme.
Asked whether RB Leipzig could win the title after the match, Adams did not mince his words. "Absolutely," he told DW. "My goal is to lift the championship at the end of the season. I always want to win. Our team is very competitive and we have the right mentality right now."
Mentor's departure offers chance
Following the sale of midfield stalwart Demme to Napoli for €12 million ($13.3 million) earlier this month, Adams was thrust in at the deep end, despite having made just one previous appearance this season, at right-back before the winter break.
"Obviously with Diego [Demme] leaving, there is a big vacancy in our midfield so I'm ready to fill in," said Adams. "He helped me a lot in the beginning when I came here and now I'm ready to go and win a championship."
Following Adams' first match of the season in his preferred central midfield position, his coach Julian Nagelsmann said that, despite a rusty start against Union, Adams will have a big role to play.
"In the first 25 minutes I was not pleased," admitted the 34-year-old. "He was basically out for eight months and wasn't playing enough balls forward. In the second half, he showed what he can do, he played a part in one of the goals and showed his quality.
"We hope he can stay healthy so that he can be a big asset for us the rest of the season."
Adams joined RB Leipzig in January 2019 from MLS sister club New York Red Bulls for a €2.63 million fee and made an immediate impact at the back end of last season.
Raring to go after time away
He featured in nine consecutive Bundesliga games, making seven starts and providing two assists before an injury in April saw him sidelined until matchday 17 of this season. There, he filled in at right-back in a 3-1 win over Augsburg, before shooting up the pecking order thanks to Demme's departure.
"Those six months out gave me time to reflect and it was about staying mentally sharp and being ready for any opportunity I get," explained Adams. "It was nice to get a game before the winter break so when we came back I was buzzing with energy, ready to go."
Now Adams says it's his goal to keep his starting berth in a side that aims to hold on to top spot by playing fast, attacking football.
"We're electrifying going forward and defensively we've been really sharp," he said. "We know that if we're ourselves and we stick to the philosophy of how we want to play, we're going to win game after game.
"We know that if we're consistent throughout, we'll lift the championship at the end of the season."