Mohamed Salah will no doubt be acknowledged as the Premier League’s signing of the season for 2017/18, having now scored more goals than Luis Suarez managed in a single campaign at Liverpool since his summer arrival from Roma.
But in terms of pound-for-pound acquisitions, the signing who has proved the best value for money, the case for Brighton’s £3million man Pascal Gross is growing stronger and stronger by the game.
After supplying Glenn Murray for what proved to be the winner in the Seagull’s 2-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday, the German midfielder has now provided the most assists of any player outside the Premier League’s top six and ranks fifth throughout the entire division for key passes – only overshadowed by Kevin De Bruyne, Mesut Ozil, Christian Eriksen and Cesc Fabregas.
That’s incredibly illustrious company for a 26-year-old who was a relative unknown before arriving in England and suffered relegation from the Bundesliga with Ingolstadt last season, and it also means – including five strikes of his own – Gross has been involved in 46% of the Seagulls’ 28 goals in the top flight this term.
And his influence on Chris Hughton’s side was evident once again on Sunday as they clinched arguably their greatest result in the Premier League so far, the Gunners wilting to another away defeat at the Amex Stadium. In addition to providing Murray with a delicious cross for the second goal, Gross created the most chances and produced the most accurate crosses of any player on the pitch.
Brighton now appear just two more wins away from safety, but it’s unlikely Hughton’s side would be flying so high in the Premier League table right now without making arguably the Premier League’s best value-for-money signing of the season.