That West Bromwich Albion are approaching the final quarter of the league campaign with a genuine chance of securing a top-10 finish is a credit to the intelligent recruitment and scouting system put in place at The Hawthorns, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.
In the last two seasons Nacer Chadli, Allan Nyom, Matty Phillips, Salomon Rondon and Jonny Evans all signed up at West Brom, Tony Pulis combining their potential with a solid base and defensive organisation, not to mention allowing a dash of creativity.
However, if they are to maintain their impressive form over the next two and a half months, increased vision and maverick magic would go a long way to turning some of those eight draws into one-goal wins.
The Birmingham Mail stated in January that the Baggies would be forced to pay up to £13 million for the signature of Montpellier schemer Morgan Sanson and, a month after his mid-season move to Marseille, they could be forgiven for wishing they had thrown themselves wholeheartedly into a bid.
Phillips’ eight assists in 2016/17 makes him one of the most astute signings of the Premier League season (below) while Chris Brunt and Chadli have starred in recent weeks but Sanson, the diminutive yet tigerish central midfielder, continues to develop into one of France’s most exciting talents.
Setting up Florian Thauvin’s long-range rocket with an impudent back-heel on Saturday, he now has three assists in six Marseille appearances and 10 for the season – more than anyone else in Ligue 1.
10 - Morgan Sanson has delivered 10 assists in Ligue 1 this season, more than any other player. Generous.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 18, 2017
Furthermore, he would have added more penetration and precision to West Brom’s rather workmanlike central midfield, potentially taking Pulis’s charges to the next level.
If the Baggies are to ensure this insurmountable campaign is more than a one-off, Sanson is the kind of player that would make a real statement.