Brighton & Hove Albion are currently placed sixth in the Premier League. The Seagulls have enjoyed a brilliant start to the new season, with four wins, two draws and one loss so far from their seven matches. They were particularly impressive in their victories against Watford and Leicester at home and Burnley and Brentford away.
The Seagulls are through to the next round of the Carabao Cup, after securing a 2-0 victory over Cardiff City. Although their league form is stable, they have had to contend with injuries and illnesses this season. One of the victims of those illnesses was Pascal Groß. It has been a mixed one for the German midfielder as he had to sit out few games due to Covid related reasons. Brighton won two matches in his absence. However Gross finally made his return to his side in the absence of Yves Bissouma. The German midfielder played alongside Adam Lallana in midfield in the draws against Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Groß has made a total of five appearances in the Premier League this season registering two assists. He has not been played in his preferred position as he started at left-back against Burnley, out wide in the right side of midfield side against Watford and as right wing-back in the game against Everton. Concerns are now being raised regarding his place in the team as multiple players will be making their return from injuries.
Last season, Groß was an instrumental part of Graham Potter’s side with the midfielder making 34 appearances for the Seagulls. He scored three goals and added a further eight assists.
Let’s take a look at his stats to analyse his performances last season and this season to understand if he can continue to be a part of Brighton as the season progresses.
Groß’s passing and progression stats were brilliant last season as indicated by the above chart. The majority of his passing and progression metrics surpassed the league median value. He was especially impressive in terms of assists per 90, xA per 90 and shot assists per 90. While initially, he started only five of Brighton’s opening eighteen Premier League games, his return to the starting eleven improved his side’s overall performances.
Although Groß missed a few of his side’s fixtures, he has continued his form as indicated by his passing and progression chart this season. He has performed comfortably above the league median value in most of the passing and progression metrics.
His passing map from last season displays the wide array of passes that he has made in different areas of the pitch. He was versatile with his passing, delivering crosses from both right and left-wing. His passes into the opposition box carried the highest threat. Although he has played only five matches in the Premier League this season, his pass map has beginning to take shape. So far, he has delivered the majority of his passes on the right-wing, in his own half and in the opponent half.
His heat map indicates the areas of the pitch in which he is most engaged in. He has impressive work rate, specifically on the right side. The red zones in his heat map from last season indicates the areas where he was most active in. Groß’s heat map from this season has started to evolve into a similar shape as last season. Although he has been played out of his preferred position multiple times.
Potter and his players rightfully deserve some praise for their performances in the league this season, although their progressive and attacking brand of football has not really translated into a lot of goals for them. With concerns now raised for Pascal Groß’s involvement in the games going forward, Graham Potter needs to make a firm decision as more of his players return from injuries. The stats indicate that Pascal Groß has stepped up when chosen in the starting eleven.