Albion's net spend over their first two transfer windows in the Premier League is around £60 million.

The equivalent total splashed out by Everton is just over £100 million.

And yet the Seagulls are just above the Merseyside giants in the table.

Today's clash at Goodison Park is a reminder that if you recruit shrewdly, as Albion have, you can prosper.

Or if you recruit poorly, like Everton, you can be big under-achievers.

Albion's foreign policy - concentrating their purchases on other top leagues throughout Europe - has paid off handsomely.

Mathew Ryan, Ezequiel Schelotto, Davy Propper, Jose Izquierdo (below) and Pascal Gross, have led the way. They have all been huge successes so far.

The Argus: Albion's calculated gamble, if you can call it that, shunning prior Premier League pedigree in search of better value for money, has paid off.

Manager Chris Hughton told The Argus: "I'm not sure about a gamble, because it's about choices as well. We will look to recruit from abroad, but we will also look here.

"When ever you bring somebody here it's because that player falls into a certain category. That can firstly, of course, be position, but also what you can afford to pay, what you want to pay.

"Sometimes it's determined a little bit like that. Why are we in this country now perhaps bringing in more players from abroad? Because, if I am looking at the options that fall into a certain price range, there are more options abroad.

"Ever since I've been here, even in that first window, we've brought in players from abroad, Kayal, Hemed, Huenemeier, Gaetan Bong, although he'd played here (briefly for Wigan). It's something we've done since my first day here.

"You always gauge the value on achievements. We've got promotion to the Premier League and at the moment we are in a decent position. When you equate it to that, yes, it has been very good value for money.

"I personally feel we have recruited really well and credit to our recruitment department.

"But we all know it's a game of ups and downs. One minute players are doing great and it's great value, the next minute things are not going so well and people are questioning. You can only say for where you are at the moment."

Everton have adopted a generally more domestic route in reinvesting and adding to the £75 million received from Manchester United for Romelu Lukaku.

Over £125 million was spent on Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea), Jordan Pickford (Sunderland, below), Michael Keane (Burnley), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) and Theo Walcott.

The Argus: Most have struggled to make the same kind of value-for-money impact as Albion's buys. Propper's Dutch colleague Davy Klaassen has flopped and the contribution of Walcott's fellow January capture Cenk Teson, a German-born Turkish striker from Besiktas for £27 million, has yet to be tested.

Everton, according to Hughton, have been fishing in a smaller pond.

"Arguably our recruitment is in a bigger field," he said. "If you are recruiting for one of the top clubs then you are looking for a different category of player. So I think the field is different for us.

"I certainly don't think it's any easier. But the teams who are doing well have generally recruited well. That's the perception, but of course months later that team that's doing well may not be doing so well - and people can look at differently."

Whatever happens between now and May, Gross in particular will be regarded as one of the Premier League buys of the season. The type of signing most clubs, including Everton, would have loved to unearth. "I think everybody is looking for that player," Hughton said. "Whenever a player does extremely well, then everybody wants to know why their club didn't get him.

"Probably the biggest example in recent seasons is the lad Kante at Chelsea. He's been outstanding at Chelsea and outstanding at Leicester.

"He would be the type of player who all the clubs in that group of teams who can afford that type of player would have been looking and thinking: why did we miss out on him?"