Tottenham Target Gylfi Sigurdsson: Everything You Need To Know About Swansea's Loan Star
Over the last few years the Bundesliga has really begun to establish itself as one of the best leagues in Europe. Something that had gone over the heads of a lot of Premier League fans, the recent influx of Bundesliga talent has gone a long way in opening the eyes of English supporters. This is in no small part to players like Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and one former Reading star, Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Icelandic midfielder was loaned out by Hoffenheim in the winter transfer window and made an immediate impact in Brendan Rodger’s Swansea side. Understandably, people questioned Hoffenheim’s decision to loan out such a talented player during a time where they were struggling in the league and were in danger of being dragged down into a relegation battle.
Sigurdsson’s move from Reading to Hoffenheim in the summer of 2010 was a big step up for the player but one that was received with a lot of enthusiasm given his time in England. Watching him play for Reading, it was clear that he would play for a big club one day and the move to Germany was a start. His spell with Hoffenheim would be mixed however, and was definitely not helped by four coaching changes in two years.
His first two coaches, Ralf Rangnick and Marco Pezzaiouli, were sticklers who it took a lot to impress. Despite being that season’s top scorer and eventually the Fans’ Player of the Year, he struggled to make a solid run in the starting lineup and was mostly brought on after the hour mark in most matches. Though the fact that Sigurdsson could come off the bench 19 times and still win the club a fair amount of points on his own was a testament to his talent.
This should have sparked something in the mind of the coach to arrive that summer, Holger Stanislawski. Instead, a pre-season injury kept him out of the first month of the Bundesliga. It may not have seemed like a problem, but with Stanislawski trying to employ an intricate tactic, that period he was out injured would’ve been vital in Sigurdsson fitting in with the rest of the squad.
Upon his return, he simply couldn’t find any form, disrupting the tactic as the team also began a bad run in the league until he was eventually dropped from the squad. Playing in a much deeper, possession based role than he’s used to certainly didn’t help.
Despite being that season’s top scorer and eventually the Fans’ Player of the Year, he struggled to make a solid run in the starting lineup and was mostly brought on after the hour mark in most matches
Sigurdsson left on loan with the coach citing that he needed to find some form. It did make some fans nervous as sending a first team player out on loan is a clear indication that he’s on the way out. The club had been trying for over a year to cut its losses and become self sustaining by the time owner Dietmar Hopp decided it was time to step down.
With the appointment of Markus Babbel just weeks after Sigurdsson’s departure, and the sacking of manager (Director of Football in Germany), Ernst Tanner, the obsession with trying to become a self sustaining club was seemingly thrown out the window.
The club have already confirmed the transfers of Tim Wiese and Eren Deriyok, stating their intentions for the coming 2012/13 campaign and with players of that calibre coming into the club it would be foolish not to include one like Sigurdsson. That being said, Sigurdsson is simply a better fit for the Premier League than the Bundesliga and that has undoubtedly contributed to his terrific performances for the Welsh side.
Hoffenheim don’t seem particularly keen on keeping the midfielder, not to mention the player's stated wish to stay with his current club. With Sigurdsson also proving his Premier League potential, Hoffenheim would definitely look to sell him to balance out the books.
Interestingly, Hoffenheim have already rejected a bid from Swansea for the Icelandic midfielder because the offer was far too low. Whether it’s a sign that Sigurdsson might be forced to stay at Hoffenheim is unclear. But with the way he’s performed in the Premier League, there’s no doubt that big clubs are already swarming to capture his signature.
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