Gylfi Sigurdsson has recently completed a move to Everton for a club record £45 million. The deal seems beneficial to all parties with Swansea now able to strengthen in many needed positions, Sigurdsson taking a step up in quality, and the Toffees gaining arguably the best dead ball specialist in the Premier League.
The obvious downside for Swansea in this transfer is that they lose a player whose contributions inarguably kept them up last season. The Iceland international contributed towards 22 goals last season (nine goals, 13 assists) which meant he was involved in an incredible 47% of Swansea’s goals.
Only six players took part in more goals and only Everton’s outgoing Romelu Lukaku contributed to more of his teams goals (50%). It’s not the big Belgian that Sigurdsson is likely set to replace, but rather attacking midfielder Ross Barkley.
You may think that Sigurdsson is a clear step up from Barkley and, in Fantasy he has been, but do the underlying stats back that up?
To some degree, yes. The only statistic that favours the Englishman is chances created, which depends on the player receiving the chance to put it on target. So, with Sigurdsson stepping into a better team, you would expect to see a boost this metric too. Oh and his 79 chances created were still good enough for seventh best in the league last season.
Regardless of a potential transfer for Ross Barkley, his recent hamstring injury will likely keep him out until November. That does not give Sigurdsson automatic starts however. We assume he’ll be a regular starter but it’s worth remembering that he is not Everton’s first transfer of the summer.
Earlier in the window Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney were both brought in and both would be competition in a 4-2-3-1. If manager Ronald Koeman uses a 4-3-3, Schneiderlin and Gueye both would make claims for one of those spots as well. A formation with three at the back would be harder to predict, but the point is that Sigurdsson may fall short of the 3000 minute mark that he averaged at Swansea.
For Fantasy, he obviously retains the majority of his value. It’s hard to make an accurate projection with Lukaku already out the door and Barkley still in limbo, but there is definitely more surrounding talent at Everton than was present at Swansea.
Sigurdsson's £7.3m price tag is high but his ownership is not currently listing around 4%. It’s unlikely that he gets the start on Monday against Manchester City, but assuming he wins his job outright, the club's new record signing should be a valuable Fantasy asset for the majority of the season.