Gylfi Sigurdsson Shining at Swansea

Icelandic playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson has become hot property in recent weeks having enjoyed a successful 3 month loan spell at Swansea City in the Premier League.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is no stranger to English football; having come through the youth ranks at Reading, which included loan spells at both Crewe Alexandra and Shrewsbury Town before his Royals debut in 2009; shortly before his 20th birthday.

4 games into the start of his second season as a first team player, Sigurdsson was whisked away from the Championship side by 1899 Hoffenheim in a £6.5 million move to the German Bundesliga. He had scored 19 goals in 41 appearances in England’s second tier. Despite a successful first season with Hoffenheim, injuries limited his opportunities this season until a January loan switch to Premier League newcomers Swansea City.

Since that move on New Year’s Day, the Icelandic playmaker has taken the Premier League by storm. To date, Sigurdsson has scored 7 goals in his 15 starts since making his debut as a substitute at the start of the second half in a 3-2 victory over Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium. His strike in a 2-1 victory at West Brom at the start of the February added him to the list of players who have scored in England’s top 4 divisions.

6 more goals later, the former Reading star has shown his goalscoring ability in England’s top flight. 3 of his goals have been struck from outside the penalty area, including both of his brace in a 2-0 victory at Wigan in March.

His 85% pass completion rate is slightly below the team average. His pass completion percentage is also below both Leon Britton and Joe Allen in the final third, although from the Swansea games I have seen this season he is much more ambitious in this area. His 15 through ball attempts are bettered only by Wayne Routledge (16). Sigurdsson has successfully completed 33% of his attempts.

Swansea City players have not done Sigurdsson’s delivery any justice this season. Completing 28% of his 125 cross attempts, no Swansea player has turned these into a goal yet. His team mates have also failed to turn any of his set pieces into goals either, although the Icelander has scored from 1 of his 11 shots from direct free kicks this season. Sigurdsson has 3 assists from open play.

No Swansea City player has scored more than the 7 goals from their loanee in 2012. However, Danny Graham (11) and Scott Sinclair (8) remain above him in the club’s goal chart with 2 games remaining. The first of those is a trip to Old Trafford this Sunday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson does not offer much defensively, attempting just 26 tackles to date. His 140 ground duels is a respectable number, winning nearly half of those. Standing at 6’1” he rarely wins a header. He rarely involves himself in an aerial duel either. But how many attacking midfielders do? His average numbers aren’t much different to that of Tottenham’s Luka Modric.

Holger Stanislawski was in charge of 1899 Hoffenheim when the German side allowed Sigurdsson to move on loan to the English Premier League. Since then, Stanislawski has left his role at the club and has been replaced by former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel. Some newspapers are claiming Babbel would like their man back at the club next season.

Gylfi Sigurdsson has recently been linked with a £10 million move to Manchester United. Should they fail to sign either Wesley Sneijder or Luka Modric in the summer, perhaps the Swansea star could be an option to Sir Alex Ferguson.