Jaden Philogene earned just 10 minutes of Premier League football after signing with Aston Villa as a 16-year-old. Now, at 22, it looks inevitable that he’ll be adding to that total in the near future.

Having been plucked from the capital and brought up to the Midlands as a schoolboy, it wasn’t long before the young winger attracted attention from the likes of PSG, Borussia Dortmund, and Barcelona. Philogene, however, chose to continue his development at Aston Villa.

After a handful of appearances in the EFL Cup and the FA Cup, and two loan spells to Stoke City and Cardiff City, Philogene departed for Hull City in the Summer of 2023.

Jaden Philogene lining up for Aston Villa

And just like that, Jaden Philogene has been unleashed.

Deployed on either wing, Philogene has been a revelation for Hull City. Providing regular goals and assists in the Tigers’ push for a playoff spot in the Championship.

But more than that, he’s a breath of fresh air. Like Jeremy Doku’s introduction to the Premier League, Philogene serves as a reminder that pacy, attacking dribblers still have a role in the modern game.

He wants to get on the ball and take on the man in front of him. With a preference to start wide, stretch the defence, and then attack the central areas when possible. 

Standing at around 5’8 with a relatively small frame, Philogene’s quick feet and agility give him an advantage over his often much larger direct opponents. He’ll cut in, cut out, stop the ball, and knock it forward. There’s an unpredictability that makes him tough to defend against. That agility and those quick feet often winning his side a handful of free-kicks throughout a game.

Fully capable of receiving the ball with back-to-goal, on the half-turn, or on the diagonal, Jaden’s technical ability ensures a strong first touch that gives him options with the ball. He knows how to draw a defender in and turn off of them. He knows how to create space for himself when the opposition offers him very little.

He’s certainly raw. And like most dribble-heavy wingers, he’ll always be trying to ride the razor-sharp line of “opening up a defence” and “giving the ball away”. But the numbers don’t lie – Jaden Philogene is one of the top creators from take-ons outside of the top 5 leagues. He creates chaos, stretches defences, opens up space for teammates, and gets plenty of shots away himself.

Stats from Fbref – last 365 days (comparison excludes top 5 EU leagues)

The youngster knows where the goal is, and he’s not afraid to have a go from range either. While there’s still room to grow in ensuring more of those attempts land on target, Philogene is certainly developing a knack for anticipating where he needs to be to cause a threat.

Long passing isn’t the key component of Philogene’s game, as you might expect from a “dribble-first” winger. But in tight spaces, Philogene can squeeze the ball between defenders with a flick here and a poke there. On the run, he can locate teammates for quick 1-2s or to overlap/underlap. As always, it’s overambitious attempts to progress the ball that often lead to loss of possession.

Despite his relative height disadvantage, he’s no pushover. Philogene can throw himself about both on the ground and in the air. Bukayo Saka is the gold standard for diminutive wingers who can leverage their body to compete physically, and Philogene certainly isn’t there yet, but there are glimpses of that same tenacity and ruggedness about him.

And although his attacking output is certainly what catches the eye, Philogene has no qualms about fulfilling his defensive duties. He tracks back, makes challenges, and presses well for the team.

Stats from Fbref – last 365 days (comparison excludes top 5 EU leagues)

As one of the breakout stars of the 2023/2024 EFL Championship season, it feels like a return to the Premier League is inevitable for this young man. Frankly, as early as 2024 wouldn’t feel too soon. 

A strong run-in from Hull City could see them compete in the Championship playoffs, but should a promotion attempt fail, it’s very easy to imagine a Summer move being on the cards. One key wildcard coming in the form of a reported buyback clause held by former club, Aston Villa. There is some speculation that the clause only becomes active if Hull do get promoted.

Either way, for a player in this kind of form? A steal.

Jaden is also an England U21 international, joining up with the Young Lions in November 2023.