He's Like Old Ronaldo - Birmingham City Star, Adams Earns Comparisons With Brazil Legend
Birmingham City hotshot Che Adams' playing style is reminiscent of former Barcelona and Brazil idol Ronaldo, according to his old team-mate Matt Baker.
Adams, 22, took a circuitous route to St. Andrews.
The forward cut his teeth in non-league football after failing to make the grade at Coventry City, beginning his career in the depths of the United Counties League before moving up to the Northern Premier League with Ilkeston Town.
Adams' impressive performances in the seventh tier of the English football pyramid caught the attention of Sheffield United, who brought the youngster to Bramall Lane in 2014. Two years later Birmingham swooped to take Adams into the Championship, where he has since established himself as a key part of the Blues first-team.
The 2018-19 season has proved a breakthough campaign for the player, who has netted 22 goals in 40 league appearances to steer Birmingham away from relegation trouble despite suffering a nine-point deduction due to non-compliance with financial regulations.
And his former companions believe his talent is up there with some of the very best to have ever played the game.
“He reminds me a little bit of the old Ronaldo. He had that raw ability. I wouldn’t say he was electric quick but he was powerful and strong," Baker told the Guardian of his former Ilkeston team-mate, who has affectionately been dubbed 'Chele' by the St. Andrews faithful.
"He would brush people off and he could go through people. And he always had a finish at the end of it.”
Baker also recalled Adams' debut at Ilkeston, where he made an immediate impact.
“We were 3-1 down and he came on with about half an hour to go and he scored two and set one up,” he added.
“That was when everyone knew he would be starting. After about a month of him being a first-team player, it was not a matter of if he was going to go, it was when.
"Che played just in behind the striker, in a free role where he was prolific. Every time he scored people were saying it would add an extra few thousand pounds to his transfer fee.”
Adams will now have the chance to put a dent in his ex-employers' promotion chances as he goes up against Sheffield United on Wednesday.
The Blades visit the West Midlands knowing that a win would restore them to second place over Leeds United, who reclaimed the last automatic spot back to the Premier League on Tuesday with a 2-0 defeat of Preston.