Gylfi Sigurdsson appears to be the ideal player for any manager. He turns up at training, works hard, goes out for a match and runs himself into the ground for the team. His game has developed at Spurs and he is fast becoming the battery which runs the midfield of the side in all forms of competition.
The striking thing about Sigurdsson is that he always seems available for the ball, always creates an outlet for his teammates. This is immensely valuable when the side is under pressure because it allows Spurs to keep the ball moving as they try to play away from defence or move the ball through the midfield and up to the strikers. He plays the same sort of role as Andres Iniesta of Barcelona, David Silva at Manchester City or Shinji Kagawa at Manchester United.
The refreshing thing about watching him play is that he is not afraid to show a bit of initiative and forget about his set role in the side if a chance comes up which justifies this. A classic example is his performance in the defeat against Chelsea, he was constantly breaking from the midfield into attacking positions and could easily have scored a couple of goals.
He has natural forward urges which other Spurs midfielders don’t have. He showed in the Europa League match that he can play consistently well in an attacking role as he grabbed a goal against Maribor which drew Tottenham level. This versatility means that Andre Villas Boas is going to keep selecting him because he can compensate for injured players or plays going through poor spells of form.
Swansea City and Hoffenheim deserve a lot of credit for helping him develop his touch which is another reason he is a first choice for the Spurs midfield. The pace at which Spurs players can ping the ball into him doesn’t really matter, they know he will control the ball and move it on which goes back to the point about him providing another outlet for Spurs to use.
The problem AVB now faces is how to handle him. Spurs’ exploits in the Europa League mean that they are going to be playing additional matches only a few days before Premier League games. Spurs are third in their group and if they qualify for the next stage, the teams are only going to get better in quality which will make it even more difficult for AVB to rest the player who is carrying the midfield at the moment.
At least Sigurdsson is an enthusiastic, determined and fit young player who can cope with the demands of regularly playing three top quality matches in the space of seven days.