Bristol City finished the last season in 17th position on the EFL Championship points table. It was a slight improvement from the 19th place finish in the season prior to the last. In the last campaign, they scored 62 goals, which was the seventh most of any team (behind only the top six), but they also let in 77 goals, the third-worst defensive record behind Reading and Peterborough United. This summer, the Robins have signed Kal Naismith, Kane Wilson and Mark Sykes on free transfers. But they have also let go of Kasey Palmer, Robbie Cundy and 23-capped Irish international, Callum O’Dowda.
O’Dowda featured for Bristol City in 20 EFL Championship games last season, playing for only 1,257 minutes. He scored only once and failed to provide an assist. He could muster only 0.4 shots per 90, which was in the bottom quintile. Despite this, the Irishman generated an xG per shot of 0.165, good enough for the 93rd percentile. He took 1.93 touches in the attacking penalty area per 90. He attempted 3.92 dribbles per 90 with a success rate of almost 78%, both of which ranked him in the upper quartile.
O’Dowda failed to provide even one assist despite generating 0.13 xA per 90, which was high enough to be in the upper quartile. He was largely anonymous in a game, attempting a pitiful 20 passes per 90 at an equally bad passing accuracy of 67.65%. As bad as his overall passing numbers were, it was worse when it came to ball progression as he completed only 50% of his 1.5 passes into the final third. But the Irishman delivered a whopping 4.25 crosses per 90, which ranked him in the 94th percentile. He was also placed decently high for progressive runs per 90 and shot assists per 90, with 1.46 and 0.66, respectively.
O’Dowda attempted over nine defensive actions per 90 and had a success rate marginally above three-fourths. The Irishman contested an astonishing 6.44 aerial duels per 90, putting him in the top 3%. He won 43.3% of his aerial battles. Similarly, he also attempted 4.58 loose ball duels per 90, which was enough for a ranking in the upper quintile. He completed nearly 3.6 interceptions per 90 and 5.2 recoveries per 90.
O’Dowda was very active on the left wing in advanced positions. While he may not have been involved frequently in build-up play, he received multiple progressive passes. He provided adequate threat near the opponents’ penalty box by delivering crosses and dribbling past defenders.
While Callum O’Dowda did not perform as well in front of goal, scoring only once, he was one of the better creative wingers in the Bristol City squad. As he did not make the matchday squad for 23 games, the Robins probably felt that letting him go was good for both parties.