Leeds United £20m transfer decision given new perspective as winter break priority is underlined

Leeds United title winning hero Tony Dorigo writes exclusively for the YEP as Tyler Adams catches the eye again, this time on the international stage at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
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Tyler Adams' position as a midfield cog means he gets through a huge amount of work that others don't normally see, so it's fantastic that he's getting his recognition and plaudits for Leeds United and the US Men's National Team.

Being picked from within his peer group to captain the side at the World Cup is a fantastic honour and he's been doing so well with Leeds as well. He's not an unsung hero, but it's normally the goalscorer or someone who can beat someone in the final third who gets the plaudits and the headlines. Adams, though, is so important for club and country in the role that he plays, and he's been really good.

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The £20m Leeds paid for him already looks like money very well spent and a big tick in Victor Orta's win column. With the director of football role you're not talking about a 100 per cent strike rate, it's always going to be difficult because you look to get value and see what comes out at the other end. There is value to be found around Europe and no matter how much analysis you and your recruitment team get through, it's still a gamble because a question mark exists over a player's ability to come in and do it in the Premier League. Adams is proving that he can, weekend after weekend, and he's taken to Premier League football like a duck to water.

As good as it was to see him play well on his World Cup debut against Wales, Friday night against England will be different. It reminds me of the game I played in the World Cup in 1990 against Italy, the country of my father. I played well and crossed the ball for David Platt to score yet we lost the game 2-1. For my dad, it was perfect because his country won, his son did really well and all was rosy in his garden, not so much mine.

It's a similar story for those of us with England and Leeds loyalties when it comes to Adams and Brenden Aaronson on Friday because we'd like to see them do very well but not win. A good showing by both in an England victory would do just fine.

As for the England midfield they will face, with Jude Bellingham playing as well as he did against Iran it is difficult to see Kalvin Phillips getting in to take on the same sort of role that he did in the Euros. I'm sure he'll be delighted to be part of it, delighted to be fit and I'm sure when he comes on in this World Cup the man made at Leeds United will show what he's all about.

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It's unfortunate that Leeds only have the three players - our two Americans and Rasmus Kristensen - at the World Cup because it could have been more than that. You want them to do well, you want them to have a positive experience but from a Leeds perspective at this tournament in particular given its timing, you want them to come back fit and well. We already know the second half of this season is not going to be easy, it will be a battle and we need everyone in tip-top condition, we need to avoid injuries like the plague. What a World Cup can do is send you back to your club full of confidence, if you play well, so let's hope for some good performances and form that can be carried into the Premier League.

WELL SPENT - Leeds United picked up Tyler Adams from RB Leipzig for £20m and the money already looks well spent according to ex-Whites hero Tony Dorigo. Pic: GettyWELL SPENT - Leeds United picked up Tyler Adams from RB Leipzig for £20m and the money already looks well spent according to ex-Whites hero Tony Dorigo. Pic: Getty
WELL SPENT - Leeds United picked up Tyler Adams from RB Leipzig for £20m and the money already looks well spent according to ex-Whites hero Tony Dorigo. Pic: Getty

For the rest of the squad it will be difficult to stay fully sharp while they're not playing games, it's just not the same going running or doing fitness programmes during time off from Thorp Arch duties. There will be certain players who were on the verge of national team squads who will be frustrated that they're not out there in Qatar and have that disappointment to deal with during the break. There are a lot of others who will be just enjoying it and watching as much football as possible but I think very quickly they will be switching their brains back on to the mid-season pre-season, if you like, to get back on it with Leeds and hit the ground running when the league resumes.

I think those two or three games we have lined up before the 28th will be important for match fitness and to keep any rust at bay, and hopefully before those take place the players can give their minds a bit of a rest from the stress and demands of life as a Premier League footballer.

But this period of time we're going through right now, with a World Cup taking place mid-season, is all new for everyone. The boys have never known it before, never gone through it and it's something they need to cope with so that they and Leeds don't suffer at all because of it. I'm sure they'll enjoy elements of the break and I'm confident they'll be raring to go again when Jesse Marsch has them reporting back for work.