Gylfi Sigurdsson is relishing the responsibility of being Everton’s go-to man for set pieces and creating chances for the Toffees’ attacking contingent, as told to the Blues’ official website.
The Iceland international has been addressing Everton’s start to the Premier League campaign having featured in each fixture so far (WhoScored), but is yet to open his league account after ending last term as the Blues’ joint-leading goalscorer with Richarlison on 13 strikes apiece.
As well as leading the scoresheet with Richarlison, Sigurdsson was the Goodison Park natives’ leading creator with six assists and 74 key passes in the 2018/19 campaign, and was credited with his first assist of the term in the Blues’ last top-flight encounter for his ball to Alex Iwobi, which saw the Nigerian regain the hosts’ lead during Wolverhampton Wanderers’ trip to Merseyside.
A Rui Patricio save at full stretch prevented Sigurdsson from claiming another assist last Sunday when the Portuguese denied Yerry Mina after the Colombian flicked the ball goal-bound following a free-kick, and later saw another effort saved following a corner.
Creating chances for his teammates is something Sigurdsson evidently enjoys, and has offered some buoyant comments to Everton’s official website on the matter.
“I have always put my hand up to take those set-pieces. I enjoy taking them and the responsibility that comes with it. When you have forwards and centre-backs who want to get on the end of them, like we do, you just have to put them in the right areas.
“It was a fantastic save from Yerry’s header, an unbelievable save. From where I was, I thought the ball was going in the side of the net. But, hopefully, Yerry is saving a goal for the next game [against Bournemouth].
“We were disappointed to concede two goals, but the team showed good spirit to bounce back and get the win.”
While Sigurdsson has self-proclaimed to be a player who puts their hand up to take set pieces, Everton will need to rely on the 29-year-old not wilting under the pressure this season, as he crumbled in those scenarios on occasion last term.
Everton were awarded five penalties in the Premier League in the 2018/19 campaign, and Sigurdsson only converted two of them (TransferMarkt), and was lucky that his failed efforts did not prove more costly.
The Iceland international’s first missed penalty of last season came at home to Fulham in September with the score level at 0-0, but Everton rallied to win 3-0 after he wasted the chance to break the deadlock in the 52nd minute.
He later squandered an opportunity to draw Everton level at home to Watford from the spot in December, but, again, the Toffees went on to score and salvaged a point – however that was still a potential two points dropped.
Had the Toffees taken all three points against the Hornets, they would have ended the campaign just one point shy of Wolves in the race for seventh and what proved to be a Europa League qualifying spot, and fine margins can be expected again come next May.
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