Only De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes are averaging more key passes per game than 21-year-old Chelsea star this season

When you think of the Premier League’s pass masters, a few obvious names come to mind.

Kevin De Bruyne arguably claims the top prize in the category, as he has for the past few campaigns.

On his day, fellow Manchester City comrade Jack Grealish can thread the ball through the eye of a needle.

Liverpool’s marauding right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold knows how to pick out a teammate.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Bruno Fernandes is usually the one to keep Manchester United ticking over.

Within Chelsea’s ranks, Jorginho probably springs to mind.

However, there is another member of Thomas Tuchel’s squad that has joined the list of eagled-eyed masters of possession.

The key to Callum’s success

For all his many strengths, passing is not usually associated with Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Dribbling, crossing and work-rate yes, but locating a co-worker consistently, arguably not.

Yet, according to WhoScored.com, the 21-year-old deserves more credit in this particular area of the field.

Hudson-Odoi has averaged 2.3 key passes per 90 minutes from open play in the league this season.

Of players with +10 plus starts, only De Bruyne (2.6) and Fernandes (2.5) have managed a higher average than the young Chelsea forward.

Callum can pass!

Break it down further and it becomes clear that the Cobham academy product warrants more attention for his passing.

Thanks to the statistical wizards at WhoScored.com again, supporters can see that Hudson-Odoi’s average key pass return per top-flight fixture is 1.7.

Just one name ranks above him in this class: Reece James with 1.9.

For the overall key pass tallies, James (31) and Mason Mount (34) just edge out their fellow Englishman (25).

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Perhaps the misconception about Hudson-Odoi’s effectiveness in the final third stems from his actual goal contributions.

This term, he has scored just once and provided three assists in 15 league appearances.

But is this down to failures from his Chelsea colleagues?

Unfortunately, the data doesn’t provide an answer to this particular question, but it has highlighted another of Callum’s capabilities.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.