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Everton seem to be edging closer to sealing the signing of Swansea City attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Sun reports that the Toffees, after having seen a £40million bid rejected by the Swans, are willing to offer the same fee and send young defender Callum Conolly the other way as part of the deal. The youngster is rated at £5million and Everton will throw in another £5million as add-ons to meet Swansea’s £50million asking price for the Icelandic international.
Whatever the schematics of the deal will be, the transfer is very much likely to happen in the coming days and Sigurdsson is certain to be an Everton player in the near future.
After a disappointing couple of seasons with Tottenham Hotspur, Sigurdsson has grown into one of the finest attacking midfielders in the Premier League since his move to Swansea two seasons ago. The 27-year old enjoyed another fine campaign last time around for the Welsh outfit, scoring 9 goals and registering 13 assists in 38 Premier League games, winning the club Player of the Year award for the second year running.
With Everton set to sell contract rebel Ross Barkley in the summer, it is natural that the Icelander has attracted so much interest from the Toffees, as manager Ronald Koeman sees him as an upgrade on the Everton academy graduate.
But where will he fit Sigurdsson in the line-up?
One of Sigurdsson’s biggest strength is his versatility – the former Tottenham man is primarily a No.10, but, he has the ability to play on either flank and on occasions, he has been used as an auxiliary striker as well.
Koeman, in his tenure in England, with both Southampton and Everton, has shown a preference to use a 4-2-3-1 setup. In such a system, the deeper pivots will most likely be filled by Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye, with Tom Davies being another option.
While Sigurdsson will be an ideal fit in the No.10 role, playing him there would mean Everton’s other summer arrival, Davy Klaassen, missing out, as the Dutchman cannot play on the flanks or in a deeper midfield position. If Koeman wants both the players on the field together – and he should, given their quality, Sigurdsson will have to be played on the left flank, much like he was, for Swansea this past season.
If Koeman decides to use a 4-3-3, it is unlikely that Sigurdsson will feature as part of the midfield trident, meaning, once again, he will have to be used on the left-hand side.
That is not a bad thing by any means for Everton. Sigurdsson has done exceptionally well down the left-hand side for Swansea. His brilliant crosses from out wide, combined with his ability to drift inside every now and then would cause plenty of troubles for the opposition. When Klaassen becomes unavailable or when he’s given a time off, Sigurdsson can be used in a more central role as well. But if Koeman is to extract the best out of his team, left flank should be where the Icelander should play.