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The overstretched transfer saga regarding Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson finally came to a conclusion a fortnight ago when Swansea City agreed a £45million deal for the attacking midfielder. The fee, although it might seem to be a gigantic one considering his unsuccessful spell with Premier League heavyweights Tottenham Hotspur, the 27-year-old playmaker has silenced his doubters with a 50-yard screamer against Croatian outfit Hajduk Split, and guided the Toffees to make it to the group stages of UEFA Europa League competition.
Sigurdsson was introduced to Premier League football by then Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers, who loaned him in from Bundesliga outfit TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. He had an immediate impact in Swansea’s debut Premier League season (2011-12) and despite Rodgers’ efforts to take him to his new club Liverpool, the player snubbed the offer and opted to join Spurs back in the summer of 2012.
He struggled to settle there and the arrival of Christian Eriksen the following summer jeopardised his place in the squad, as the Icelandic professional found himself further down the pecking order. Following two unsettled campaigns, Sigurdsson returned to Swansea City, where he regained his lost status and continued to impress, prior to making another pragmatic switch this summer.
Sigurdsson is hailed for his imposing set-piece ability as well as shooting attributes. He is a skilled, versatile and an experienced playmaker who has great vision, range of passing and goal-scoring traits. His statistics are as good as that of Premier League hotshots like Phillippe Coutinho and Christian Eriksen, but Sigurdsson remained underrated in Premier League football.
Everton identified him as a replacement of their want-away Englishman Ross Barkley and broke the bank to land him at Goodison Park. The player too grabbed the opportunity of playing in Europe rather than fighting for another relegation escape.
His style of play can be compared to Eriksen’s, who drew an end to Sigurdsson’s short-lived Spurs career. Both of them are skilled and right-footed professionals with impressive passing, shooting and set-piece taking ability.
Eriksen, however, is more consistent and is a silent workhorse for the Londoners, who has scored crucial goals and has set up plenty of opportunities for the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane. Sigurdsson too had moments of magic for the Swans, but he lacked quality around him, compared to what Spurs got since Mauricio Pochettino’s introduction as their manager.
Sigurdsson will now have the opportunity of taking his game to the next level with quality resources up-front, namely Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez, Kevin Mirallas and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Toffees have had a great inception of their new campaign but they have struggled to convert chances and score enough goals so far. Sigurdsson might prove to be the solution who will pull the strings from behind and score a few himself, and stake a claim to be compared with the likes of Christian Eriksen. Sigurdsson is arguably the most undervalued attacking midfielder of Premier League in recent past.