With the first international break already upon us, it is time to reflect on the teams and players who have started the season well and whether they can continue that form throughout the campaign. One player in this category is Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Having moved back to Swansea from Tottenham in the summer after a loan spell 2 years ago, Sigurdsson has fitted into the Garry Monk’s with absolute ease. After 3 league matches, Sigurdsson has already matched his season best number of assists with 4 and that number looks set to increase.
Playing in the number 10 role is a big reason why Sigurdsson has started so well compared to his time at Tottenham being mainly spent on the wing. Being allowed to drift around the pitch, the Icelandic international can find the pockets of space between the midfielders and defenders and exploit them – this has seen him create 8 chances thus far and have a direct involvement (goals and assists) in 5 out of 6 goals scored by Swansea in the league.
With fast wingers beside him in the form of Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge, alongside the passing style of Swansea, Sigurdsson’s ability to pull opposition players out of position and attract the attention of defenders allows him to thread passes into the wide players where there are acres of space to run into. This route of attacking was seen against West Brom on Saturday resulting in two goals for Dyer and two assists from Sigurdsson.
Both of the assists at the weekend were first touches, with the first being a back heel between the centre back and full back, showing not only the confidence he has on the ball but the technique he possesses to be able to play the pass when his body shape suggests otherwise.
Operating behind the striker can often see the player have a low pass accuracy due to their attempts to play the ball into a team mate in attacking areas when keeping hold of possession is the better option. The latter is what Sigurdsson does, with an impressive passing accuracy of 86.4%, making him a perfect fit for Swansea.
A trip to Stamford Bridge after the international break will be the first major test, but given how Everton managed to get through the Chelsea back line at the weekend a confident Sigurdsson could continue his good run of form.