The last thing Leeds need at this stage of the season is injury setbacks to key players under Javi Gracia, but they have been dealt a blow this week.
USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams has been confirmed to be ruled out for today’s game against Wolves, after picking up a hamstring injury during training.
Such a setback is also set to keep him out for the international break too, after he captained the USMNT side during the World Cup.
Here, we look at two knock-on effects that Adams’ injury will have for Leeds this weekend…
Break-up play takes a serious hit
What is most obvious about Leeds missing Adams in the middle of midfield is that their break-up quality now is a lot weaker.
Adams has been outstanding to Leeds at the base of midfield, getting stuck in with aggressive defending, while reading the play very well to cut out key attacks and passes.
Marc Roca and Weston McKennie can cover reasonably well, but no one does what Adams can do for us in the middle of the park, and that’s the view of Javi Gracia:
“He is different than others – there is nobody like Tyler. Other players are different, with different skills. In this case, we have all the players (replacements) ready.
“As you can see in the last games we played, we started with Tyler and Marc. The game before, we started with Tyler and Weston. We have other players waiting for their chance – maybe this is their moment. I’m sure all of them are ready to compete at a high level.”Leeds Live
Wolves v Leeds predictions?
Can Leeds keep the ball better now?
Perhaps a more positive argument can be made for missing Adams here, with Roca and McKennie both more competent in possession.
Both are more advanced-thinking when having the ball at their feet, progressing the ball well this season since joining in the summer and January respectively.
Adams keeps the ball well for Leeds and sometimes the more simple option is required when regaining possession, but having these two in the side to replace him could offer more for the Whites.