Robert Sanchez has become a vital part of Albion’s backline since taking the NO.1 shirt from Maty Ryan in December and the stats show why Graham Potter made the bold decision.

Last season the 23-year-old had been on loan at League One side Rochdale, but in November he was handed his Premier League debut in the defeat to Tottenham.

He then sat out the next five games, before starting against Fulham in December and has been in between the sticks ever since.

At the time it was seen as a bold call by Potter, but so far it has certainly paid off.

In his 24 appearances Sanchez so far this season has kept ten clean sheets, including three in his last five games.

The Seagulls have also picked 27 points out of their 37 when Sanchez has been in goal.

Compare that to Ryan who kept two cleans sheets in his 11 appearances for Albion and in that time, they picked up 10 points.

One of the main reasons Sanchez was given the chance initially was to give them a more commanding keeper at 6 foot 6 inches, which is like a giant compared to Ryan at 6 foot.

When you look at the stats, they back up how commanding Sanchez is he has won 20 high claims, which is eight more than the Australian international.

Another reason the Spaniard was given the nod is because of his ability with the ball at his feet to play out from the back and be a sweeper keeper.

That has been back up by the stats as Sanchez (849) has made 452 more passes than Ryan (397).

Which averages out at just 35 passes a match.

Albion’s No.1 also has certainly been a lot more accurate in terms of his long-range distribution.

He has made 167 accurate long balls, which is 105 more than Ryan (62).

Also, Sanchez’s ability to be a sweeper keeper is shown by the number of sweeper clearances he has made with six, compared to Ryan who has made just three.

Someone who knows Sanchez well from his time at Albion is former striker Glenn Murray.

The 37-year-old was at Albion while the keeper was part of the U23’s and trying to develop as a player by going out on loan.

Murray was part of the BBC’s coverage in the defeat to Wolves and believes Sanchez is an exceptional talent.

He said: “It was a really brave decision by Graham Potter to put his faith in a 23-year-old and let his main keeper Maty Ryan go to Arsenal

“But he is a fantastic prospect this boy, he has got a real presence about him and you can see the upturn in their defence form when he is behind them.

“The defence seem to have a little bit more confidence in him.

“He has a great range of kicking and is comfortable with the ball at his feet and when the ball comes into the box, he can come out and collect it because he is so big.”

Murray also believes his loan in the Football League at both Rochdale and Forest Green have played a vital role in the keeper’s rise to being a Premier League and international player.

He said: “The only thing with Rob is he is 23-years-old and goalkeepers make mistakes.

“As a striker, I can make mistakes and it goes unnoticed and I can make 10-20 of those and it goes under the radar.

“A goalkeeper makes one and it is crucial, so he went out on loan made some stupid mistakes.

“But he has learnt from that and is now benefiting from that as we are seeing in the Premier League.”