Owen Otasowie: Talented and a 'project'.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Owen Otasowie of Wolves is challenged by Mason Mount of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux on December 15, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Owen Otasowie made his Premier League debut on Tuesday night as Wolverhampton Wanderers held Chelsea to a 2-1 draw at Molineux.

Olivier Giroud put the Blues ahead early in the second half, but goals from Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto completed the turnaround as Wolves earned their first victory over Chelsea since 2018.

The American midfielder replaced Leander Dendoncker at half-time after the Belgium midfielder picked up an injury in the opening 45 minutes.

Otasowie appeared for Wolves in the UEFA Europa League against Besiktas last season and has appeared on the first-team bench on numerous occasions this season.

Successful turnaround in the second half

With the scoreline reading 0-0 at the interval in the West Midlands, there would have been questions of 'who is Own Otasowie?' from outsiders.

But for Wolves fans, he isn't a stranger. Otasowie made his USA debut in November in the 0-0 draw with Wales after impressing for the clubs Under 23s.

He made 16 passes in the middle of the park, where he partnered Ruben Neves. Unlike Dendoncker, Otasowie ventured forward more, providing Nuno Espirito Santo's men with an extra man in the offensive third.

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Otasowie made four passes to Neves, the most to any other Wolves players. He also received the ball four times from Podence.

Out of his 16 passes, he completed 81.3% (13 passes), creating the equalising goal for Podence. 

Nuno called him a "project" following the game, praising his talent after impressing against Frank Lampard's men.

Will he feature more for Wolves?

With Joao Moutinho suspended for the meeting with Chelsea and Dendoncker's injury duration unknown, there is an opportunity for the midfielder to be handed further minutes.

Vitinha, who joined Otasowie with an assist for Neto, will be licking his lips at the prospect of gaining more first-team minutes, creating healthy competition for Santo.

Otasowie, who can play in defence and midfield, successively completed all his attacking third passes (3/3) and won three of his five aerial duels against a very-physical Chelsea midfield.

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Defensively strong, completing four interceptions and winning two of his three tackles. 

With a hectic Christmas period coming up, where Wolves face Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United before the start of 2021, opportunities may open up for Otasowie to become a first-team regular and possibly impress to receive a loan move at a Championship club like Morgan Gibbs-White.

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