One to Watch - Gylfi Sigurdsson
Name: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Date of Birth: 9/9/1989
Former Clubs: Reading, Shrewsbury Town, Crewe Alexandra, 1899 Hoffenheim
League Appearances (Goals): 109 (37)
International Appearances (Goals): 7 (1)
Stat of the Day Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored five goals in his last four away games in the Premier League for Swansea
You`d have never guessed it, but Swansea like to pass the ball.The media have jumped on the Barcelona playing style bandwagon in every way, comparing patterns of play, passing stats and team principles at every opportunity, and the acquisition of the impressive Gylfi Sigurdsson has further amplified the medias need to eulogize over Brendan Rodgers` side. The Icelandic international has added the extra verve and substance Swansea require to progress further, and despite the signing of Sigurdsson being a rather low-key affair, his subsequent performances have certainly attracted the headlines. With all of Swansea`s pretty passing playing style they have been found guilty on occasions of failing to impose themselves in games, but since Sigurdsson`s arrival there has been a notable increase in performances and attacking presence.
The 22-year-old has slotted effectively into the central advanced midfield role in Swansea`s 4-2-3-1 system and with the incredulous news today that Shaun Derry will be missing from Wednesday`s game, the attacking midfielder may enjoy a prosperous 90 minutes at Loftus Road. Sigurdsson has added goals to the Welsh side and it would be criminal for any player to play for Swansea without being able to demonstrate a wide array of passing talents. Despite being Swansea`s most potent attacking weapon, Norwich demonstrated it is possible to keep the midfielder quiet; by pressing high up the pitch and limiting the number of touches Sigurdsson received in the opposition half they were able to dominate The Swans and limit the impact of Sigurdsson on the game. Make no mistake though, the young midfielder is a talented prospect and having already drawn comparisons with Frank Lampard by manager Rodgers, it would be foolish to ignore the flair of Sigurdsson.
Despite being born in Iceland, Gylfi Sigurdsson had trials at Preston and Arsenal at the age of 16, before he eventually signed for Reading in 2005. He spent three years playing for the youth and reserve teams before making his first team debut in a League Cup match against Luton Town. Before becoming a familiar face in the Reading side he spent time on loan at Shrewsbury Town and Crewe Alexandra in order to gain first team experience. He scored on his debut for Shrewsbury in 2008 ending up with one goal in six appearances during his short stay at New Meadow. His stay at Crewe was more profitable as he made 15 league appearances, scoring three goals.
The 2009/2010 season was Sigurdsson`s first successful season at Reading where he was a huge contributor to his side`s impressive FA Cup run and 9th placed league finish. He finished the season with a fruitful 21 goals in 44 matches in all competitions, which prompted interest from numerous Premier League clubs. In September 2010 German side Hoffenheim signed Sigurdsson for a reported £6 million after the Icelandic international finished with an impressive 18 goals in 42 league appearances for The Royals. Sigurdsson enjoyed a successful first season at Hoffenheim where he finished the season with 10 goals and 2 assists, despite only starting 13 matches. Unfortunately during the first half of the 2011/2012 season he fell down the pecking order and in January he was reunited with former manager Brendan Rodgers at Swansea on a loan deal until the end of the season.