Celtic's Top 10 key passers so far this season; two players streaking ahead

By John McGinley

October 6, 2021

With the help of WhoScored, here is a look at the top 10 Celtic players when it comes to playing key passes this season.

Opta defines a key pass as “the final pass or pass-cum-shot leading to the recipient of the ball having an attempt at goal without scoring.” It’s a measurement of a player’s creative output in the final third, with a broader sample beyond assists.

The data from WhoScored is from the Scottish Premiership and UEFA Europa League only, as they don’t have the data from the League Cup or Champions League qualifiers.

Photo by BO AMSTRUP/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

10) Adam Montgomery (6)

Given Montgomery has only started on a handful of occasions this season, this isn’t a bad return and shows he is trying to make an impact in the final third. Praised by Ange Postecoglou recently, the youngster still has a fair bit to go with his development but there’s hope he can develop into a consistent regular over time.

9) Callum McGregor (7)

McGregor has had a mixed role in the Celtic team this year, often performing defensive duties as ‘number six’. With injuries also impacting his playing time, it’s not much of a surprise to see him far down the list. He’ll be hoping to help out attacking more consistently moving forward.

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8) Greg Taylor (8)

With 11 starts, Taylor’s total is less impressive than Montgomery’s, But he is arguably the most competent defender we have on the left flank. His strengths lie in different areas of his game. However, if he’s to truly shine in Postecoglou’s eleven regularly, he needs to find a creative touch.

7) Odsonne Edouard (9)

Edouard has almost double the number of key passes than Kyogo Furuhashi in a similar amount of playing time. That’s not a comparison in quality, just that he provided a very different style of attack compared to the Japanese, often looking to impact the game from a deeper position.

6) Tom Rogic (11)

Given his role is primarily as a creative force, Rogic may be disappointed with being number six, but for me it simply shows that Celtic are not as effective through the middle as out wide. The Australian is often the man who orchestrates the whole attack rather than provide the final ball.

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5) Jota (13)

Jota has played less than every player on this list but still features prominently which is a credit to his start at the club. That 5 of them have also come in the Europa League shows he can make the step up to a higher level too. There’s plenty to come from the Portuguese winger but the initial signs are certainly positive.

4) Anthony Ralston (15)

With 15 key passes, Ralston has been a prominent player at both ends of the pitch so far this season. Often playing in an inverted role, he’s been tasked with supporting the play around the box. He has played for more often than most on this list, which influences his higher position, but he’s proving to be a decent alternative at right-back just now.

3) Ryan Christie (16)

That Christie is so high on this list from just 281 Scottish Premiership minutes is remarkable and demonstrates just how important he had become to the way Postecoglou plays. We’ll miss his influence in midfield even if his sale made sense due to the player wanting to leave.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

2) Liel Abada (26)

With lots of game time and a prominent attacking position, you’d expect Abada to be approaching the top spot. Nonetheless, his 26 key passes added to his goals and assists shows that he really has been an important outlet for Celtic since making the move from Israel. We know he’ll get better too.

1) David Turnbull (27)

Turnbull has played more minutes than anyone else at Celtic this season and given his role, like Abada, you’d expect him to be hitting our highest numbers. Only Calvin Ramsay of Aberdeen has made more key passes in the Premiership this term, so the former Motherwell man is outstripping most of the country with his creative output.

In other news, Celtic defender won’t be back until the end of November.