Brighton’s Pascal Gross vs Manchester City’s David Silva – A Statistical Comparison
Brighton and Hove Albion have not enjoyed the kind of start in the Premier League they had hoped of after being promoted from Championship last season. Two defeats in two games saw them endure a wobbly start to the league and it took Chris Hughton’s men 360 minutes to register their first win – a 3-1 victory over West Brom Albion.
However, Brighton are slowly starting to settle down in the top division. The superb 3-0 win away at struggling West Ham was a testament to that. One player who has impressed for the Seagulls since the start of their life in Premier League is Pascal Gross.
After clinching promotion, Brighton made Gross their first summer signing, agreeing on a four-year contract. FC Ingolstadt 04, for whom Gross plied his trade last season, were relegated, and seeing the midfielder’s availability, Hughton swooped in. Now, the German is showing what he is capable of in the Premier League.
Gross plays in an advanced role for Brighton, and one player who has made that role his own since moving to the Premier League is David Silva. Though Silva has dropped slightly deeper in recent times, it is tough to narrate his qualities and consistency for Manchester City. A player being consistently good, the Spaniard is one of modern football’s heavyweights, there’s no debate about that.
City are flying this season and there is no stopping them at the moment. Pep Guardiola, having relatively struggled in his first season in England, has now built a team capable of steamrolling any opposition. And it comes as no surprise that Silva is the quintessential ‘Pep Guardiola’ player.
With Gross being a vital player for Hughton and Silva being Guardiola’s one of the most trusted architects, let us have a comparison of both the players’ impacts for their respective teams this season.
Gross, a summer acquisition from Ingolstadt has played a part in all 9 of Brighton’s goals in their opening 9 games! He scored twice against West Brom and crossed for Tomer Hemed to head home in the same game.
The German’s cross was headed in by Solly March for Brighton’s away goal at Bournemouth and his free-kick led to Hemed’s winner against Newcastle. Gross maintained the sequence with another assist for Anthony Knockaert’s strike against Everton and on Friday, it turned out to be his free-kick that helped Brighton take the lead after 10 minutes against West Ham through Glenn Murray.
In just 9 games, Gross has scored 2 goals, has assisted 4 and has created 20 chances. His signing looks like a shrewd piece of business by Brighton. The German is a very good attacker but his playing style is also characterised by non-stop running. In Brighton colours, the German is turning out to be a creator-in-chief as well as a goal-scorer.
A natural playmaker with industrious traits, Gross is also a fantastic set-piece taker. The 26-year-old has settled very well in England and the early signs are certainly encouraging.
On the other hand, Silva has become one of the fulcrums in City’s dazzling attack that has seen them score a whopping 32 goals in just 9 games. While Kevin De Bruyne is seen hogging much of the limelight for his exploits this season and rightly so, there is no denying Silva’s contributions are immense too.
An immaculate passer, the former Valencia man creates space for his teammates to exploit, while his capacity to take the ball in tight spots is largely unrivalled. This season, Silva has 6 assists and 1 goal to his name. He has created 26 chances, with a pass completion rate of a staggering 90%.
Compared to Gross’ 219 successful passes, Silva has completed 638 passes. Gross, playing almost as a second striker for Brighton, has a total of 142 forward passes, whereas Silva as a ‘free eight’ has made 352 forward passes.
The mini-stats gives us an idea about both the players’ attributes, their style of play and the impact they have made on their teams this season.
While Gross has become a key figure for Brighton and his contributions will be essential going forward, Silva is awarded little fanfare in City’s galaxy of stars. However, he is unique, and he’s a world-class footballer who never feels the need to demonstrate the fact. Other summer signings may have made more of a statement, but Silva has proved to be the best and is one of the prime reasons why City are currently ruling the roost in England.