Gylfi Sigurdsson moved to Tottenham this summer from German club Hoffenheim for a fee believed to be in the region of £8m to become Andre Villas-Boas’ first signing at White Hart Lane, but due to a swathe of recent arrivals, is there a danger that he’s becoming marginalised already?

It was seen as something of a coup that the club managed to pinch Sigurdsson right from under the noses of Liverpool at the start of the transfer window, particularly given that his manager at Swansea during that blistering six-month loan spell, Brendan Rodgers, was now in charge at Anfield.

Many observers, and I include myself in this, failed to see the logic behind the switch from the player’s perspective and it was always a risky choice. There’s no doubting that despite the relative upheaval at the club over the past few months that Tottenham are a superior side to Liverpool, but it’s precisely because of that reason that his long-term prospects of being a guaranteed starter are so slim.

Having moved on Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart to both Real Madrid and Hamburg in the final stages of the transfer window, it looked for all intents and purposes as if the 23-year-old Icelandic international was set to become a key player this term at least.

However, since then, the club have forked out nearly £20m on Fulham duo Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey and they were only moments away form clinching a deal for Modric’s heir apparent, Porto playmaker Joao Moutinho – a player you suspect that they will go back in for in the January transfer window.

The thing is, you can justify playing someone like Sigurdsson as part of a fluid front four, with Bale and Lennon out wide and one of Defoe or Adebayor as the lone figure up front, if they’re contributing to the team’s forward play, but so far, the former Reading man has struggled. Of course, it is still very early days into his Tottenham career and he’s started two of the club’s three league games, but you have to wonder what role he will play further down the line.

Dembele looks an excellent signing and he possesses that rare ability to beat a man in the middle of the park and he suits Villas-Boas’ pressing style off the ball down to the ground, while Dempsey excelled last term at Craven Cottage in a more advanced role. The American may have been signed in place of Moutinho at the last-minute, but the more logical explanation is to help provide utility cover up front and out wide and Moutinho would have supplemented this, which is a concern for Sigurdsson.

Behind them, so far Sandro and Livermore have been preferred and while they provide a solid platform from which to build, it does appear a needlessly conservative approach and with Scott Parker still to return, expect to see one of them dropped in favour of Dembele. This isn’t even to mention both Tom Huddlestone and Jermaine Jenas, who have both remained after failing to secure moves away on loan.

Had Sigurdsson chosen Liverpool earlier in the summer, there’s no guarantee that he would have been assured of a starting place every week either, with Steven Gerrard and Lucas bordering on the undroppable while the Joe Allen pursuit had a certain inevitability about it.

Nevertheless, I very much doubt whether Rodgers would have been forced to move for Nuri Sahin had Sigurdsson arrived and under a manager who knows his methods and who would have signed him twice by then, he could be satisfied that he had a key role to play. The suspicion that the attacking midfielder was foisted upon Villas-Boas to an extent as a club target rather than one expressly asked for by the manager refuses to go away.

The pace of change is likely, predominantly given the health of their finances compared with those on Merseyside, to be a lot quicker too which in turn provokes a higher rate of player turnover. There’s nothing to suggest that Sigurdsson will still be involved in two seasons time at Tottenham, while the case would certainly have been very different at Liverpool; it looked a strange choice from the player’s perspective at the time, and it looks even stranger now.

It is still early days in not only the player’s time at the club but also the Portuguese manager’s time at the helm and he will still be feeling his way into things, as he wrestles with changing and adapting the team’s style of play and system. Sigurdsson could have a bright future at the club still, but with so many players being brought in to play in a very similar area already, competition for places will be absolutely fierce and he looks most likely to give way first.

You can follow me on Twitter @JamesMcManus1

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  • Enorme Nuez
    2 years ago

    How has he fallen down the pecking order? Has he not played in all three matches this term? If Sigurdsson is to be the player the masses think he is then he’ll have to step it up.

    Reply
  • Dick Scratcher
    2 years ago

    He is always pecking he is a very naughty boy.

    Reply
  • n cockman
    2 years ago

    ive, been a spurs supporter, for 60 years, and its the same old story,must have this player that player;they ruin a players career,to many players after one position.yet they expect loyalty.get a grip spurs,also managers ajoke,i can remember the teams in the 50,s and 60s great teams, great players.

    Reply
  • tony
    2 years ago

    fascinating article – has anyone seen my cat – last seen jumping over the fence after the postman found the need to ring the doorbell six times in six seconds.

    Reply
  • vtveteran
    2 years ago

    Well, Dembele should take one of the deeper positions, leaving Lennon, Sigurdsson and Dempsey to fight over two spots. Factor in some squad rotation and I really can’t understand why on earth this article has been written, other than to continue this insufferable trend of Spurs/AVB bashing that’s been going on for the past few weeks. Stop it.

    Reply
  • Bucks
    2 years ago

    vtveteran – so you don’t think Spurs will buy anyone in January then? Won’t mvoe for Moutinho?

    The point is that he may last six months as a regular, but beyond that, not a chance. Or you could just live in the present, like a certain Mr Wenger. Bizarre comment.

    Reply
  • Tony
    2 years ago

    I expect under AVB the players will be rotated much more that under Harry. Also AVB will play a stronger team in the EUFA cup. So I don’t see a problem

    Reply
  • spursfan
    2 years ago

    I am not seeing a problem here. Dembelle replaces Modric logically and a good replacement at that. Sigg and Dempsey have to fight for the place left by VDV. Also AVB has to stop playing both Sandro and Livermore….its too defensive. he has to choose one.

    Reply
  • tottspur
    2 years ago

    easily fixed, drop Livermore to the bench, he offers nothing in attack anyway, 2 goals in our last two games at home is pathetic especially considering who the opposition were

    Reply
  • footballstopcouk
    2 years ago

    bit early to start making comments like this aint it? gylfi is a talent and im pretty sure he will play a central role at Tottenham Hotspur this term

    Reply
  • gary fox
    2 years ago

    You’ve been spoiled by Harry’s brand of football, based on only using the 13 players he likes and ignoring the rest. Look at Man Utd today – they put out a supposedly ‘weaker’ side and gubbed Wigan by 4 goals! The Premiership is now a League which demands the use of 17-19 players and Siggy (and Dempsey and Livermore and Sandro and Parker and maybe Lennon and Townsend and Defoe) are just as valuable if they play 50-75% of the games as the Dembeles, Bales, Walkers and Adebayors who’ll play 80-90%. Its called rotation and its what AVB will do so we dont burn out in February like we have the last two years!

    Reply
  • Dick Scratcher
    2 years ago

    You’ve never been a Lillywhite supporter you are just a professional moaner. GET BEHIND THE TEAM whinger

    Reply
  • vtveteran
    2 years ago

    Bucks – As much as I would love to see Moutinho play for Spurs, I don’t think there’ll be a deal in January, not now Porto sold Hulk; possibly next summer if he’s still needed. That’s assuming Dembele doesn’t step up to the plate – the man has the talent, as he showed at Old Trafford, to play the Modric role and then some; it’s just a question of if he can do it week in week out.

    As for Sigurdsson, I think there’s definitely a place in the team for a goalscoring midfielder, something he proved he is both at Swansea and in the pre-season friendlies. Wait til you see him playing in a Spurs team that are clicking before giving judgment.

    Reply
  • rob thfc
    2 years ago

    well said mate!

    Reply
  • rob thfc
    2 years ago

    sandro n dembele

    Reply
  • Anthony
    2 years ago

    Dempsey is a goal scoring midfielder. And a better one at that. People don’t mention often that he’s scored more goals than any midfield player in the premiership since 2010.

    Reply
  • Anthony
    2 years ago

    Because he hasn’t impressed and Dempsey is in now. Read the article. Lacking for goals, Dempsey gets goals. Basic themes here.

    Reply
  • Sid
    2 years ago

    Ditto!

    Reply