Why Gylfi Sigurdsson deserves Premier League top awards

Why Gylfi Sigurdsson deserves Premier League top awards

He might not be playing for any of the Premier League top teams, but, incredibly, Swansea midfielder, Gylfi Sigurdsson, has already outperformed all of their top stars and deserves to be considered for the league's top awards.

Paul Clement’s astonishing effects has been visible all over Swansea since he took charge in January following Bob Bradley’s departure. The ex-Bayern Munich assistant has dramatically lifted the Welsh club out of the drop zone by winning five of nine games. This was a side who had previously managed just three wins in nineteen games and were rooted to the bottom of the table. An unbelievable victory at Anfield coupled with two stunning wins against Crystal Palace and Southampton handed Paul the league’s best manager award in his first month at the Liberty Stadium.

“He’s brought in a few new rules, including keeping the training ground and the dressing room tidier. Training is now mixed up every day… he also works us harder, but it’s more fun. In matches, we are much more compact. We now press as a team and not just as individuals," Swansea full-back, Kyle Naughton, revealed.

But if Clement has someone to thank for how his debut Premier League season is progressing, then it has to be 27-year-old Sigurdsson. This is because the Iceman has been his team’s attacking fulcrum; constantly at the centre of every move. Sigurdsson, who has spent almost three-and-a-half years over two spells in South Wales, has continually been exceptional with his fantastic finishing, exquisite assists and unrivalled appetite for work. He notched three beautiful goals in Clement’s first four games; which helped spark their revival – leaving the ex-Derby manager utterly astounded.

He said in January: “I didn’t want to let him or any of our players go, Gylfi is an important player. He’s a fantastic deliverer of set-plays, he really works at that so credit to him.”

With 31 league goals, Sigurdsson is the club’s all-time top scorer who is a true reflection of his impact despite playing from midfield. This season alone, he has struck eight times in the league and 12 across all competitions. The set-piece specialist leads the way regarding the number of crosses delivered with 206 as well as distance covered having racked up 318.2 kilometers. He has also managed the fifth most shots in the league and second when it comes to keeping it on target. These high statistics put him on a par with, if not better off than, several top players in the league including Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Christian Eriksen.

However, Sigurdsson’s most outstanding strength seems to be his ability to assist others. Incredibly, the 27-year-old (11) has created more goals than any other player, not just in the English top flight, but the whole of Europe’s top five leagues. The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mauro Icardi and Lionel Messi might hold the fort when it comes to goalscoring but the Iceman absolutely leads the way in terms of assist-making. This remarkable feat puts him above Eriksen, Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, Barcelona’s Neymar and Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller, who are all tied on 10 apiece. In fact, the Iceland no 10 has had a hand in more than half of the 36 league goals scored by Swansea this season - highlighting his relevance to Clement's team.

But despite his consistent displays for the modest Welsh side, the 27-year-old has constantly been overlooked when it comes to indivdual accolades. The ex-Spurs man was recognised as the club’s fans’ player of the year, players’ player of the year and away a player of the year at the end-of-season prizegiving. Yet, his efforts appear to go largely unnoticed when it comes to securing a place in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year, or the Premier League Player of the Year.

“I think he is more than good enough to be in that discussion, he probably gets overlooked because of the position of the team,” his manager opined. “When teams are lower down in the table, the individual players don’t always get that recognition they deserve, but he is a player that’s done really, really well.”

There are numerous exceptional players in the Premier League but judging by the stats thus far, Sigurdsson stands out.

About the Author Toby

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

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