Ronald Koeman has seemingly lost his first battle of the transfer window, with the news that Romelu Lukaku as ‘reached an agreement’ with another club. This will come as a bitter blow to the blue half of Merseyside, as Koeman was hoping to keep him for at least another season. However, the lure of Champions League seems to have proven to difficult for the big Belgian to resist. Lukaku will be sorely missed if he does leave, as he finished second only to Harry Kane in the scoring charts with 25 goals, impressive by any standards.
Another star who could leave the Toffees this summer is midfielder Ross Barkley. The Evertonian hasn’t put pen to paper on a new deal, and the apparent standoff is proving a distraction for Koeman that he could do well without as the Everton manager can’t begin his transfer business until Barkley has made a decision on his future. It seems puzzling looking from the outside in, why Barkley would want to leave Everton – he has the ability to become a legend at the club. Under Koeman’s management, he could blossom into the top player we all believe he could become. However, should Barkley choose to leave Everton this summer, a ready-made replacement could be waiting in the wings.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, the Swansea number ten has had another stellar season in South Wales, and I believe the Icelandic star would be an ideal replacement, should Everton lose patience and ship Barkley out. Sigurdsson was the catalyst to any success Swansea had in an otherwise average season and would be a big loss for the club. His performances – especially away at Manchester United – proved vital as Swansea avoided the drop. It seems impossible that a player of Gylfi’s quality would stay at a side like Swansea for another season, and has surely attracted interest from some of the Premier leagues better teams. Granted Sigurdsson has already experienced playing for one of the top clubs but found himself out of favour at Spurs. With the quality of his performances at Swansea, his consistency and a developing maturity, I believe he is ready for another crack at a top level club. Only then will we see the very best of him.
In terms of a possible role at Everton the stats from last year suggest the change would benefit both. Sigurdsson scored nine goals while Barkley only managed five. Sigurdsson assisted 13 times while Barkley only managed eight. The fact Gylfi plays in a team that struggled all season only makes his stats all the more impressive. Undoubtedly a big fish in a small pond could he step up? I believe he not only could but that he must, for his own development and to see just how far he can go, he desperately needs to be playing for a better side than Swansea.
There would be no question that Sigurdsson would fit in the system that Everton play. He would slot in nicely just behind the striker. With Lukaku almost definitely leaving Goodison this summer, the Everton manager won’t want to let Barkley go to, but if he does, Sigurdsson could be the perfect replacement.
Featured image curtesy of Liverpool Echo via Google