Saturday, February 25, 2017

Gylfi Sigurdsson the key to Swansea staying up

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 7 Feb 2017

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Icelandic attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has been a key player for Swansea

For much of the campaign Swansea have looked like a hopeless case in the Premier League survival race.

The Welsh side had been ensconced in the bottom three until recent weeks, after new boss Paul Clement’s arrival in south Wales.

However, even when Swansea were getting beaten there was always that small beacon of hope that Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson would nick something for the Swans.

The former Tottenham star must be one of the most undervalued players in the top-flight. Played in the right position he can be a highly effective player.

Great stats for Gylfi this season

Despite the Swans being in the quagmire for much of the season, Sigurdsson has impressive stats for the campaign, scoring eight goals and producing seven assists in the top-flight.

The 27-year-old has always looked like a dangerous player in his time in England. His ability to pick up good positions from a number ten role means he can often find himself in the right place at the right time to score a vital goal for his team. His quality from set-piece situations is also outstanding.

In truth, he has been highly consistent for the Swans in his two and a half years at the club, scoring nine and 11 goals respectively in his previous top-flight campaigns. He looks on course to better those tallies this season.

In fact, only Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa, Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have contributed to more goals for their side in the Premier League this season. It just illustrates how important the Icelandic star is to Swansea.

Thrived at Swansea

Earlier in his career, Sigurdsson spent two largely unsuccessful years at Tottenham. He struggled to ever nail down a starting place in north London. There was immense competition for places in the positions he played and he never quite had enough time in the first team to find his best form.

Sigurdsson could have settled for life on the bench at Spurs. He could have made the odd appearance here or there, never quite fulfilling his potential. However, for the sake of his career he returned to the club he had enjoyed such with while on loan in 2012.

The star knew that he would be a guaranteed starter and a key player for the Welsh side. He would not be a bit-part player like at Spurs, but a star in a Premier League team. He has thrived on that responsibility and helped the Swans to some vital points, not just this season but for the last three campaigns.

There had been talk of the attacking midfielder moving on in the January transfer window. However, he stayed where he knows that he is valued and appreciated.

Vital to Swans survival bid

Suddenly the Swans have risen out the relegation zone and look like they could genuinely survive the drop this season. Without Sigurdsson, they would have been cut adrift at the bottom of the table.

In his last five Premier League appearances, Sigurdsson has contributed three goals and two assists, scoring in his last three top-flight appearances. His goal on Sunday at Manchester City looked to have won the Swans a point, only for Gabriel Jesus to pop up with a stoppage-time winner for City.

Gylfi Sigurdsson may have been considered a flop at Tottenham. However, he has developed into a very good Premier League player. Few of Swansea’s rivals at the bottom of the table have a player of attacking talent in their team.

Swansea are currently only outside the relegation zone by a point and face rivals Leicester City on Sunday afternoon, in a game Clement’s side are odds of 6/4 to win. If the Swans do record a victory over the struggling champions, then no doubt Sigurdsson will have had a hand in the win.

If Swansea have any chance of avoiding the drop then the Welsh side need to keep their talisman fit and in-form. The Swans have a fanastic chance of staying in the top-flight if they can keep Sigurdsson fit and firing.

Will Gylfi Sigurdsson help keep Swansea in the Premier League?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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