By Noel Whelan

10th Nov, 2022 | 11:08am

Leeds United employee can't believe 'unexpected' Tyler Adams development

Noel Whelan has claimed Leeds United midfielder Tyler Adams has “stepped right into the shoes” of departed fan favourite Kalvin Phillips.

The former Whites striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, backed the 23-year-old USA international to “show the world his quality” at this month’s World Cup.

Adams has played the full 90 minutes in all but one of Leeds United’s 13 Premier League games since joining the club in the summer window.

As per FBRef, only one player (Fulham’s Joao Palinha, 56) has made more tackles than the former RB Leipzig star this season (49).

The United States announced on Wednesday (9 November) that Adams and teammate Brendan Aaronson are part of the 26-man squad which will face England, Iran, and Wales at this month’s World Cup finals in Qatar.

Leeds United face Tottenham on Saturday (12 November) before their international contingent jet off to the Middle East.

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Whelan insisted Adams is “one of the best defensive midfielders in the league” at present.

He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “He’s been so important for us.

“Just look at the ground he covers and the tenacity he shows.

“These sorts of players will always be prone to picking up fouls and yellow cards – but that’s what the manager and the fans want to see.

“He’s aggressive, he reads the game, he’s never flat-footed – and watching him every week, I have to say that he’s one of the best defensive midfielders in the league at the minute.

“It’s what Kalvin Phillips used to do and he’s stepped right into his shoes. I don’t think we would’ve expected anyone to be just as good as Kalvin was in that area.

“He’s in the World Cup team with Aaronson, and that’s just another platform for him to show the world his quality.”

In other news, pundit “wowed” by Leeds United sensation Wilfried Gnonto – “best you’ll see all season”.