The final days of January must have been a troubling time for Gylfi Sigurdsson. He was in the middle of a difficult first season at Tottenham Hotspur, when his form had failed to match up to that which he had displayed for Swansea the previous season, and the club had brought forward the signing of Lewis Holtby from the summer, adding another player to compete for the limited positions in their attacking midfield.
There were also rumours of other club's being interested in signing him, with Reading apparently having three bids turned down by Spurs. All of this might have left Sigurdsson wondering about his future at the club, but his performances since then have marked him out as a man ready for to fight for his future at White Hart Lane.
His appearance from the bench helped turn the tide against West Ham, with his scrambled equaliser a hugely welcome first Premier League goal that was long overdue. That performance earned him a place in the starting eleven for the North London Derby, and Sigurdsson delivered an excellent display in that match, setting up the opening goal and linking the play in the final third, although he perhaps tried one pass to many when he declined the chance to shoot when clear through on goal in the second half.
Against Inter, Sigurdsson's performance improved again, with a sumptuous cross setting up the opener for Gareth Bale, before Sigurdsson himself found the net following in a shot from Jermain Defoe. The change in Sigurdsson has been stark, and Holtby now finds himself on the bench behind the Icelandic player.
Holtby's arrival might well have given Sigurdsson a stark image of his future at Tottenham Hotspur, and he has responded in the best possible way. Credit must also go to Andre Villas-Boas for the way he handled the situation, firstly by publically saying he wanted to keep Sigurdsson when the bids from Reading came in, and then by rewarding his performance against West Ham with a place in the starting line-up against Arsenal. Sigurdsson could repay that faith tenfold if he can maintain his form in the crucial run of fixtures Spurs have coming up.
image: © xtranews