US News Adams surprising return to the TSG starting
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The appointment of Kasim Adams to the TSG Hoffenheim starting XI in the difficult 3-2 away win at 1.FC Cologne was a surprise. Two years after his commitment from Young Boys Bern, head coach Sebastian Hoeneß's confidence could be the chance of a new start in sport for the Ghanaian at TSG - despite the current tense personnel situation.
Out of necessity, Hoffenheim's new head coach Sebastian Hoeneß had to put together his defensive line before the first Bundesliga match at 1.FC Cologne at the weekend: Captain Benjamin Hübner and Stefan Posch did not get fit in time, Ermin Bicakcic, Kevin Akpoguma and Kasim Adams were available and 18-year-old Melayro Bogarde four learned options alongside Kevin Vogt, who was set as a link between defense and midfield due to Florian Grillitsch's failure. Hoeneß decided on Adams (half right) and Bicakcic (half left), Akpoguma plowed the right wing because Pavel Kaderabek moved to the left after Robert Skov's failure.
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No question about it: are Posch and Hübner fit, are they in a back three or four. Nevertheless, it was surprising that the choice fell on Adams in the regular line-up. The 25-year-old Ghanaian, who once moved to Kraichgau as a hopeful promise for the future, can, after a good performance with minor flaws, hope to be on the starting line-up against FC Bayern on Sunday (3:30 p.m.).
A look back: in the summer of 2018, TSG signed the then 23-year-old as a newly crowned Swiss champion from Young Boys Bern for around seven million euros plus various bonuses. Under Julian Nagelsmann, Adams was allowed to play against FC Bayern on the first Bundesliga matchday. A first impression of Adams' style of play - sometimes a tad too over-motivated and impetuous in one-on-one combat; too risky in passing and dribbling - solidified in the further course of the season in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League.
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Adam's promise soon turned into a risk
Adam's physical style of play turned into too many fouls with the faster pace of the Bundesliga. The Ghanaian was unlucky enough to injure his ankle for weeks on the second match day. The acclimatization was slowed down, the defensive player could only rarely show his potential after the recovery. Adam's promise soon turned into a risk with reservations that Nagelsmann dared less and less.
No progress in Düsseldorf
After only 13 appearances in the league and two in the premier class, the loan change to Fortuna Düsseldorf followed in the preseason, and TSG promised match practice with the relegated team. After Adams had missed parts of the preparation for the Africa Cup, he could not gain a foothold in Düsseldorf. Fortuna's then sports director Lutz Pfannenstiel was still convinced of the potential of the powerhouse. But the promised reinforcement was Adams only in parts of the first half of the season. Used eleven times under Friedhelm Funkel, it was only enough for two desolate missions in the jersey of the Rhinelander in the back series under Uwe Rösler.
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Small chance for a new start
In preparation, Adams hit the TSG again, the current injury problems in the defense could be the small chance for a new start for the Ghanaian international. Against FCB, Hoeneß should choose his line-up carefully, especially defensively. Whether or not Adams will be voted again depends on what condition Posch and Hübner, but also Skov, are in by the weekend. Against Cologne, neither Vogt and Akpoguma completely convinced defensively. Bicakcic should have the slightly better cards compared to Adams, especially because of the courageous appearance before the decisive 3-2 against Cologne. One argument for Adams could be his strength in a duel, but also dynamism. It remains to be seen whether that will be enough for a new list of the returnees against Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski, who arrive in fabulous form.
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