The Mail Online has reported that Everton are one of a number of clubs, including Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool as well as Spanish club Malaga, interested in securing the services of Swansea City’s on-loan star Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The £10 million rated Icelandic midfielder has been one of the star attractions with his impressive displays this season helping Swansea to secure their Premier League status next season.
Sigurdsson to Everton? Everton certainly do not have £10million to splash out on players – hurdle number one. If the reports are correct, Everton would be in competition with financial giants such as Manchester United whose salary offer would surely surpass anything the Toffees would be able to offer – hurdle number 2. United, Liverpool and possibly even Malaga could also tempt Sigurdsson with the prospect of European football, either in the Champions League or Europa League – hurdle number three. Hurdle number four? Everton still don’t have £10 million to splash out on players.
But Everton supporters can dream can’t we? Let’s just entertain the idea that Everton have discovered the secret of how to grow money on trees and now have cash to burn; what would we be getting for £10 million?
The Icelander is an attack-minded midfielder, and had trials with Preston and Arsenal before signing for Reading in October 2005. He was instrumental in Reading’s FA Cup run in the 2009-2010 season that included wins over Liverpool and West Brom. Sigurdsson joined German side 1899 Hoffenheim shortly before the start of the 2010/2011 season and was voted the fans’ player of the year, even though he only started thirteen matches for the club.
He joined Swansea on loan in January this year and made his Premier League debut against Arsenal; a game in which he also setup the winning goal in a 3-2 win over the Gunners. In all, Sigurdsson has scored 7 goals in 14 starts for Swansea since moving to the south Wales side. So he can score goals. He’s still only 22 and therefore hasn’t even reached his prime yet, thus Everton would see him more of a long term investment as opposed to a short term acquisition.
Do we really need him though? The centre of Everton’s midfield is probably the area most blessed with both talent and numbers at this moment in time, despite the loss of probably the most gifted player at the club for some years in the shape of Mikel Arteta. We have a number of players who can play in that central midfield position; Darren Gibson, Marouane Fellaini, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell, Ross Barkley, even Phil Neville and Johnny Heitinga can do a job there.
However, how many of those players have a goal tally of one goal every two games? Cahill, Neville and Osman are all the wrong side of thirty. Rodwell, having burst on to the scene in recent seasons and having progressed to international selection, has had numerous injury setbacks that have hindered his form. Everton may also see Rodwell as a financial asset that could bring much-needed funds into the club; and Ross Barkley has yet to break into the first team on a regular basis.
Sigurdsson could be an exciting addition to Everton’s midfield, goals from the middle added to those coming from Jelavic up-front could push the blues beyond the tantalisingly close, to European qualification. 7th place seems to be our resting place in recent years. However, one crucial point is, are there more problematic areas in the Everton side that need to be addressed before splashing out £10 million on another central midfielder? A wide player with pace, cover for Baines at left-back and even securing Steven Pienaar from Spurs surely would and should be higher priority for David Moyes.
I would gladly welcome the evidently talented young player to the Everton side, but perhaps not at the expense of the £10 million price tag Hoffenheim have slapped on his head, and therefore the opportunity to bolster the team in more problematic areas.
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