Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gylfi Sigurdsson is a World Class Player

I wanted to write this blog post for two reasons. 1 - because I need people to be aware of how good Gylfi Sigurdsson is. And 2 - because I need to distract myself from my painful flashbacks of Fernando Forestieri missing the penalty that dumped Sheffield Wednesday out of the playoffs...God that stings…

Gylfi Sigurdsson is a creative genius, a midfield maestro and can compete at the very top of European football if given the chance. A world class midfielder who deserves a chance to show his ability and may just get that next season.

I'm getting really into minimalist pictures lately. I'm not even sorry.

The Icelandic international has been receiving a lot of interest in recent weeks, with the likes of West Ham, Everton and Newcastle rumoured to be interested. West Ham have lacked a lot of creativity this season since Payet decided to be a ball bag whilst Everton are possibly looking for a replacement for Ross Barkley. Newcastle on the other hand are just looking to sign an experienced midfielder to help with their Premier League survival.

Truth be told I’m surprised that it’s the mid/lower league clubs that are interested in Gylfi. They’re all huge clubs but (no offense to Everton, West Ham and Newcastle) they’re don’t offer the European football that Sigurdsson should be looking for. In my opinion he is as good as the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Kevin De Bruyne...but I’ll touch on that later.

This season Sigurdsson has built a solid attacking partnership with Fernando Llorente, assisting 6 of Llorente’s 14 goals so far. This partnership has helped The Swansea midfielder to joint second in the assists table alongside Tottenham ace Christian Eriksen with 13. The only player with more assists is City albino Kevin De Bruyne with 16.

Adding to his creative brilliance he’s also scored 9 goals so far this season, a pretty good return for a midfielder. This has sparked some Swans fans to asked whether he is Swansea’s greatest ever player? If any of the Liberty City faithful want to weigh in, please feel free to comment below.

An absolute wand of a right foot.

His contributions this season for the Welsh side have been almost heroic. He’s scored some important goals in Swansea’s draws with Everton, league champions Chelsea and most recently against Manchester United, with his late free kick winning his side a point at Old Trafford.

Not only has he produced against the top sides, he has also proved his worth against fellow Premier League strugglers. He scored and assisted against Crystal Palace when the two sides met in November. He also repeated this performance against Sunderland a couple of weeks later...but that hardly counts because it’s Sunderland...I could score and assist against Sunderland...

Sigurdsson has stated that he’s not forcing a move from Swansea which is an admirable act from the Icelander. But in my opinion if he wants to progress his own career he needs to move away and if the offers are good enough it may force The Swans’ hand. Question is what price would be good enough?

Like I said earlier Everton are possibly looking for a replacement for Ross Barkley. Some papers are putting the price on Barkley’s head at around £50 million...I just don’t know where they get these prices from. For me Sigurdsson realistically would be worth £20 million, a good return considering he cost Swansea £8.5 million.

Do you guys remember earlier when I said I’d prove this kid is just as good as Fabregas and De Bruyne? Eh do you? Eh? Well that time is right now motherfucker! So sit back, strap in and watch as I lay down facts and figures all up in this bitch! The first few are a little dodgy so bare with me.

Sigurdsson plays on average 2.1 key passes per game this season. This puts him level with Fabregas but a little way off De Bruyne (2.9), Ozil (3) and Eriksen (3.1). The Icelander also has a pass success rate of 76.5%, the lowest of all these players. The second lowest is Eriksen on 80%. Like I said not great stats.

One positive stat for Gylfi is that he marks an assist every 249 minutes in the Premier League. When compared to Fabregas (assist every 113 minutes) and De Bruyne (every 175 minutes) it doesn’t look that great but he is almost on par with Christian Eriksen (every 237 minutes) and has obliterated Mesut Ozil who manages one assist every 345 minutes!
~ Side note: I’ve also worked out that despite Ozil’s minute per assist record, he does create one chance every 29 minutes. Could Arsenal’s strikers be blamed for Ozil’s poor form? That’s a post for another day kids ~

The stats are coming thick and fast here guys so keep up. 19% of the Swansea midfielders chances result in goals which puts him more or less on par with Cesc (20%) and KDB (19%). This stat is also incredibly impressive when compared to Eriksen’s 12% and Ozil’s 8%.
~ Again another statistic that shows Ozil might not be fully to blame…~

The biggest statistic is the one that proves he’s Swansea’s most important player. 28% of the clubs chances come from Siggy while he also scores 28% of their goals. Which is a higher percentage than any of the other players listed. In fact altogether, Sigurdsson has a direct impact (either scored or assisted) in 51% of all of Swansea’s goals this season. Further proof that if the Welsh side lost him, they’d be up shit creak.

An absolute wand of a ri...wait I've already said that...

I think the most impressive thing about these stats from Sigurdsson is that he’s managed to do it whilst playing at Swansea. I’m not saying Swansea are a poor side, just that they have on average a lot less possession than the top sides in the division, with an average of 48% possession this season. You have to wonder how well Gylfi would do in a side that keeps the ball better like Chelsea (52%), Man City (59%), Arsenal (55%) or Tottenham (55%).

Now some people might be saying that the midfield maestro had his chance back in 2012 when Tottenham signed him for £8.5 million. A big move from Hoffenheim was just what Sigurdsson needed...but it wasn’t to be all sunshine and daisies. Due to the tactic Harry Redknapp had in place, Gylfi had to either play central which restricted his creativeness or play on the wing and out of the action.

Tottenham that season had a plethora of talent, most of which were better options for ‘Arry’s tactics at the time. Players like Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker, Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey, etc. He was only 23 and other than a brief successful loan spell with Swansea, he was still yet to prove himself fully in the Premier League.

He featured in a rotation system for Spurs but couldn’t quite nail down that starting position, featuring more in cup competitions like the successful Europa League competition which The Lilywhites will always remember as the competition when Gareth Bale ruined Maicon’s career...ah nostalgia.

There have been talk of possible replacements at Swansea for Sigurdsson, one link being Ryad Boudebouz. I’m gonna be honest when I say I’ve never heard of this guy in my entire life, so just for that reason I’m gonna label him a gamble. For me they need to find someone reliable and with Premier League experience.

Possibly Jason Puncheon? Might be a couple of groans when reading that but he is a surprisingly creative player for Palace, has a wealth of experience, is a leader on the pitch and can play in quite a number of different positions. But what do I know? I just attempt to write a below standard blog...and I can barely do that.

Anyways I’m off to go cry into a Wednesday shirt whilst singing songs of happier times…

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at ~

Cheers for reading.

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