The news on Monday night broke that Tottenham Hotspur had, reportedly, agreed a €10m fee with Hoffenheim for Gylfi Sigurdsson, according to Bild. Many bore witness to the exploits of the 22-year-old last season, following his successful loan spell with Swansea City, where he netted seven times in 19 games. As expected, the Swans looked to make his loan spell permanent and had a record £6.8m bid accepted by the Bundesliga outfit for the midfielder.
However, the deal was thrown into disarray once Brendan Rodgers left for Liverpool, yet it had been accepted that his former boss would pursue in the hunt for his signature. Unsurprisingly, the new Reds manager indeed made his move for Sigurdsson following the revelations that his move to the Liberty Stadium had broken down.
Now it is Spurs who lead the race to sign The Gylf, with some suggesting a medical has been undertaken by the midfielder. Yet, any deal for Sigurdsson, allegedly, can’t be completed until July 1st due to his loan deal with Swansea but, his arrival will signal a change for the club, but not in the way some are thinking.
He will be a good signing
Should he, like rumours suggest, arrive at White Hart Lane, Sigurdsson is the type of midfielder Spurs have been lacking for some time. Providing a genuine goalscoring threat from midfield, as his stats from last season show, he will add a further dimension to the starting XI. At just 22, and for a fee as low as £8m, his arrival will be a positive one.
Providing a strong link between the midfield and the front-line, much like Rafael van der Vaart, Sigurdsson will be an excellent acquisition should the rumours be true. Providing Premier League experience and looking very adaptable going forward, the Iceland international could be the player that Spurs have been crying out for, for sometime.
However, it is important to remember that Sigurdsson won’t be a Luka Modric replacement, far from it in fact. The former is one that prefers to break forward, with his seven goals a testament to this, whilst the latter is preferred as a deep lying playmaker. Rather than replacing Modric, Sigurdsson is a midfielder that would be better suited to replace van der Vaart, who has been linked with a return to Germany.
A more direct replacement for Modric would be someone along the lines of Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin or Joao Moutinho of FC Porto. Nevertheless, Sigurdsson’s signing would be an astute piece of business by chairman Daniel Levy and more importantly, fits in with his model of buying young with a sell-on value. At £8m, the Icelandic midfielder is a good deal for Spurs.
But, who is making the signing?
As has been overly pointed out by fans and journalists in recent weeks, Spurs currently have no manager. If ever there was a club to overshadow an international tournament, it is the North London giants. Since the Harry Redknapp sacking earlier this month, the likes of Andre Villas-Boas, David Moyes and Laurent Blanc have been linked with the vacant hot-seat at White Hart Lane.
Nevertheless, targets are being approached without a man at the helm, with Jan Vertonghen still being courted by the club. It is evident that the players mentioned are ones that have been rumoured as potential arrivals are ones that a new manager wants to bring in. Levy, under orders from the new manager, is likely to have given the deals the go ahead as a means to improving the squad.
And both Vertonghen and Sigurdsson are players that point to Villas-Boas being the new manager. With the Portuguese tactician preferring a high defensive back-line, the Ajax captain is a player that can succeed in that specific role, often breaking forward from defence to support the midfield and instigating attacks from the back.
Alongside Younes Kaboul, who is similar to Vertonghen in his ability to break forward from the back and commence attacks from the back, often pushing up into the midfield, both players possess the necessary attributes to ensure his footballing philosophy is implemented correctly.
The same can be said on Sigurdsson. Villas-Boas often prefers a 4-3-3 with one holding midfielder and two more to push forward, one of which is a deep-lying playmaker. Sigurdsson would be the midfielder to push further forward to support the attack and get goals from outside the 18-yard box, whilst possessing the capability to break into the area and find the net.
Therefore, it reinforces the theory that the 22-year-old isn’t be drafted in as a replacement for Modric. Sigurdsson isn’t a deep lying playmaker, in the same mould as the Croatian, and even though the diminutive schemer isn’t likely to be at White Hart Lane for the new season, the potential arrival of the Hoffenheim star isn’t going to be his replacement, rather that of van der Vaart instead.