LONDON: Swansea were impressing the Premier League with their tidy, creative football from the first moment of their first season up among the elite last August. But Gylfi Sigurdsson has taken the ‘Swans’ on to a different level and all his new team-mates want to see him making his loan from Hoffenheim permanent.
Wales midfielder Joe Alen claimed to be speaking for the entire squad when he made that precise point after the Iceland international scored twice in last Saturday’s 3:0 win away to Fulham.
Sigurdsson has scored five goals in nine league appearances since arriving in the first week of January which have lifted the Welsh side up to eighth place.
Allen said: “Gylfi has slotted in better than anyone I’ve ever seen. Of the young players out there, I don’t think I’ve seen too many better than him. A goalscoring midfielder, at this level, is like gold dust and – as well as his goals – he has proved that he’s prepared to work for the team.
“He’s been a really great signing – it’s a shame he isn’t our player. No doubt we will do everything we can to keep him and I think he’d probably like to stay. Keeping him is definitely one of the priorities here.”
Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers managed Sigurdsson previously at Reading, where he won the club’s player of the year award in 2009-10 after scoring 21 goals in all competitions before moving to Hoffenheim for £6.5m.
Rodgers was encouraged by Swansea’s first-half of the season to believe that he could afford to play with three midfielders this spring, one of those with more attacking instincts. That was where he saw a perfect role for Sigurdsson.
Like fellow Hoffenheim export Demba Ba, Sigurdsson has been a Premier League revelation and Markus Babbel is known to be keeping an eye on a player who fell out with Hoffenheim predecessor Holger Stanislawski. The only fear for Swansea is that he has been playing almost too well and Hoffenheim may thus demand a transfer fee which is out of the Welsh club’s reach.
Swansea are currently a mere three points behind seventh-placed Liverpool in the Premier League and sit second in the Fair Play table with the possibility that finishing top could bring the reward of a place in next season’s Europa League.
That might help persuade Sigurdsson to think his future lies in the Premier League.
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