Gylfi Sigurðsson’s sale not exactly a masterclass by Tottenham

After a horror week that included elimination from Europe, defeat in the Capital One Cup final and falling further adrift in the race for a top four Premier League finish, Spurs face Swansea tonight in a critical game.

Only four points separates the respective sides on the table, while with Southampton winning last night and a six-point gap to fourth-placed Manchester United, the White Hart Lane hosts are in need of three points.

One of the main threats to the North Londoners securing victory will be a familiar face, with former Spurs midfielder Gylfi Sigurðsson set to feature in the Swansea line-up.

The Icelander has been in excellent form this season for Garry Monk’s side and looks back to the pre-Tottenham form that caused a scramble for his signature back in 2012.

Over the space of two seasons at Spurs, the former Hoffenheim playmaker was not given a consistent run of games in the starting XI, with Sigurðsson making only 26 Premier League starts over 24 months.

When he was selected it was largely on the left-hand side of the club’s 4-2-3-1 formation rather than in his preferred central role, with the Scandinavian falling victim to the form of Christian Eriksen in the number ten position.

Despite being shoe-horned into a wide role, Sigurðsson scored some important goals for the club and always possessed an admirable work-rate and neat football.

Gylfi SigurðssonThe deal to allow the Iceland international to return to Wales in the summer saw Michel Vorm and Ben Davies go the other way, with the swap deal not exactly reaping dividends for the North Londoners.

Although Sigurðsson did not win over sections of the White Hart Lane faithful, it appears that Tottenham have parted company with a talented midfielder to get a back-up goalkeeper and reserve left-back.

This season Sigurdsson has been in excellent form for the Liberty Stadium outfit, scoring four goals in 22 starts and showing the versatility to play either in central midfield or as a number ten.

Only Chelsea’s Cesc Fàbregas has more Premier League assists than the Swansea star, with Sigurðsson’s eight significantly more than any of Tottenham’s supposedly superior attacking midfield options.

The debate over whether Sigurðsson is any less of a player than Erik Lamela is an interesting one, with the respective transfer fees involved in bringing the pair to Tottenham potentially having a bearing in how they are individually viewed.

While the Argentine was brought to Spurs for an astronomical and club record fee, Sigurðsson’s acquisition was more cost-effective.

While Lamela is given another chance to prove his significant doubters wrong after only a handful of appearances last season, Sigurðsson was discarded as surplus to requirements.

Meanwhile, Mousa Dembélé, who is undoubted talented but infuriatingly inconsistent, has been given a chance on occasions this season to play in the number ten role for Spurs.

Despite improved showings in that position behind striker Harry Kane, the Belgian still has not consistently delivered.

With Pochettino willing to ship Eriksen out to the left to accommodate Dembélé centrally, wouldn’t Sigurðsson have been a more complete and dangerous threat in his preferred role than the former Fulham man?

Sigurðsson should be treated with respect upon his return to White Hart Lane tonight as the overarching feeling is that he wasn’t given a fair crack of the whip at Spurs to show consistently how good he is.

The Icelander has displayed it for all to see since returning to Swansea and will have a point to prove against his former employers that could well provide another hammer blow to Tottenham’s derailing season.

By
I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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