Sigurdsson Must Become Everton's Key Midfielder after World Cup Showing

Now in his prime at 28 years old, the Icelandic Talisman needs to step up and become the midfield playmaker that he has been at other clubs and for his country.

Gary McCarty 27/07/2018 12comments  |  Jump to last

After their heroics at the 2016 Euros, we all knew the threat that Iceland could pose in Group D of the World Cup. But after three games, Iceland bowed out in fourth place. Croatia dominated the group and Argentina snuck through in the final game. One of the bright spots for Iceland, as he always is, was Everton’s creative midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Sigurdsson’s 2017/18 season, his first with Everton, was hampered by injuries, unfavourable tactics, and by being a part of a huge squad bolstering which ended up hindering the team. After what could be seen as a good showing from the midfield maestro at his nation’s first World Cup appearance, Everton fans will be hoping that he brings his form back with him to Goodison Park.

Despite the results, Sigurdsson performed admirably

Clive Mason/Getty Images

When a team like Iceland – the smallest nation ever to make it to the World Cup finals – finishes the group stage with a single point, few can say that they expected much more. A draw against Argentina, a rather tame showing against Nigeria, and the final nail in the coffin from Croatia settled Iceland’s time in Russia. To be fair, though, it turns out that Iceland had a rather tough group. Iceland did well to steal a point from Argentina when the South American side was clearly struggling to gel and can go out knowing that two very strong teams trumped them.

The star performer throughout these games was certainly Gylfi Sigurdsson. Along with anyone wearing a chequered shirt and a couple of Nigerians – mainly Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi – Sigurdsson was a standout performer of Group D. He inadvertently assisted Iceland’s first World Cup goal when his shot was saved and tapped in, and he scored the penalty that gave his nation hope of sealing qualification. As expected, Sigurdsson’s passing was sublime throughout, and he even managed to hatch some attacks despite his team’s defence-first mindset.

Back to business with Everton

Everton finally have the manager in charge that was originally earmarked as Ronald Koeman’s successor, Marco Silva. The former Watford manager has already begun to cull the 38-man squad down to a more reasonable number rather than splash the cash again – which is very good as the team can’t handle another summer like 2017. The culling has already begun with Ramiro Funes Mori joining Villarreal, Wayne Rooney moving to the MLS and Davy Klaassen securing a transfer to Werder Bremen.

Silva has the managerial ability to get this batch of Everton players to showcase exciting football each week. His appointment and aims in the transfer market have fans buzzing for a new season, with Everton becoming a popular choice to finish in the top six on many online betting websites.

This is where Gylfi Sigurdsson, now in his prime at 28 years old, needs to step up and become the midfield playmaker that he has been at other clubs and for his country. He should be seen as the main man as he has the skillset to be able to pull the strings in midfield and get the most out of the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Oumar Niasse, and Cenk Tosun up top.

It’s going to be a big season for Everton, and while Marco Silva needs to sell some players and patch some holes – such as at left back and on the wing if he doesn’t deem Brendan Galloway and Ademola Lookman as viable first-team options yet – the new manager has the tools to take Everton back into contention for the Europa League while playing exciting football. Gylfi Sigurdsson has the calibre and the skill to be at the heart of this Everton revival campaign. 

Reader Comments (12)

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David Connor
1 Posted 27/07/2018 at 17:35:38
Average to poor first season with the blues. He has to step up his game this season as a lot is resting on his shoulders considering how poor most of the squad are.

Worth nowhere near the £45 million we paid last season on his showings so far. Come on, lad — show the Goodison faithful the player we know you can be for all our sakes.

Dermot Byrne
2 Posted 27/07/2018 at 17:48:05
Sigurdsson can be very good but he needs forwards making good runs to pick out, as does any midfielder. It is the connection between midfield and forwards that has been so poor. We end up with just brain-numbing no-risk passing if the forward line and midfield cannot anticipate each other.
Tommy Carter
3 Posted 27/07/2018 at 18:26:51
He and the whole team would benefit from a playmaker or two in this side.

I think if we had him with someone of the quality of Pablo Fornals or even Quintero of Colombia next to him then we would see the best of Sigurdsson and a move in the right direction for the club

The perfect end to this transfer window would see the following players gone:


I think we could recoup £50 approx for this lot. And I'm guessing £500k per week in weekly wages.

I'd then bring in the following:

Phillip Max
Yerry Mina
Juan Quintero
Pablo Fornals
Hans Vanaken

And one other striker to challenge Tosun for a start. Our team would be for me:

Coleman Mina Holgate Max
Fornals Quintero
Sigurdsson or Walcott

Pat Kelly
4 Posted 27/07/2018 at 18:59:53
Is it 1st April?
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 28/07/2018 at 07:57:27
Sigurdsson would be better if he had a central midfielder around him with some athleticism and some power.

I don’t think he’s helped by the slow pedestrian style of Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies etc none of whom can exactly dominate a midfield battle.

Ciarán McGlone
6 Posted 28/07/2018 at 10:38:04
I'd rather have Vlasic in that role. I don't rate Sigurdsson at all. The quicker he goes, the better.
Brian Hennessy
7 Posted 28/07/2018 at 10:50:21
I would like to see him played deeper than he has been, more centrally beside Gana. He offers way more passing-wise than Schneiderlin and, let's face it, he can't be any worse than Schneiderlin defensively.

John Kavanagh
8 Posted 29/07/2018 at 10:18:11
If what we've seen of him so far is Sigurdsson in his prime, then we shouldn't wait around for the decline to start. I'd sell if any reasonable offer came along. He just hasn't added anything to the side.

He's not a priority in the great EFC selling plate though as, in order, we need to get Mirallas, Schneiderlin, Williams and Bolasie out of the door pronto.

Brian's suggestion at #7 is something I too had thought of, but you'd need mobile centre backs behind him to risk it; not Keane looking like he's carrying Hattie Jacques in a wife carrying race. There again, I'd risk anything to get Schneiderlin out of the side .

Christine Foster
9 Posted 01/08/2018 at 16:55:14
This season is his make or break, new players in, no more playing on the wing, playing in a position he should have been. Personally I was disappointed with his performance last season but now there are no reasons why he should not live up to his hype.
Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 01/08/2018 at 17:32:16
Fair enough, Christine, but I was a lot more disappointed in signing him for all that money, to play him in the wrong position.

Koeman, must have really, really wanted him but then hung him out to dry, by playing him out of position in a struggling team.

Allardyce took off Rooney at Anfield, put Lookman on the wing, Siggy in his proper position, and then Everton honestly looked like they had a bit about themselves.

Thirty minutes it lasted, but my eyes might have been deceiving me though? Maybe I imagined it, because instead of trying to build on something, it was all downhill from there until the end of the season after that?

I think Sigurdsson, is a very good player, but I hope McCarthy can also get himself back fit and stay fit, because the only time Everton have played with any real energy during the last two seasons, was when this kid was on the pitch?

Neil Carter
11 Posted 02/08/2018 at 15:30:10
Jury’s out-needs a good first half of season or move on to someone new.
Paul Bernard
12 Posted 03/08/2018 at 14:05:57
I honestly don't understand the 'poor season' attitude towards Gylfi. Given the lack of pace and movement around him, coupled with us having to do with Calvert-Lewin upfront, I'm surprised he registered a single assist or shot on goal!

There was a point in the season where Gylfi and Rooney were linking up brilliantly, for reasons still unknown we then went back into our shells followed by big Sam's appointment in which the team was quite rigid to say the least.

The forward line of Tosun and Theo was not addressed until January.

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