Speaking exclusively with Football FanCast, former Premier League defender Steve Howey has reacted to claims Gylfi Sigurdsson may be offered a new contract at Everton.
Sigurdsson has become an influential presence in Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season after a nervy summer, with the Iceland international starting 15 fixtures across all competitions and having a direct role in seven goals thus far.
The 31-year-old had been linked with a potential exit in the last transfer window, with Ancelotti said to have planned a vast clear out at Goodison Park. He was again touted for an uncertain future over the festive period, too, before impressing in the absence of James Rodriguez.
Sigurdsson’s performances as the central playmaker in Ancelotti’s side whilst Rodriguez was out with a calf injury sparked reports by the Daily Mail that he could be offered a new contract, with his current £100,000-per-week deal due to expire in 18-months’ time.
“There’s nothing as clear as football at times. When somebody is out and you think ‘that’s him, he’s going to see his contract out or the club will get shot of him and then that’ll be it’,” he told FFC.
“Then all of a sudden, for whatever reason, [he put’s in] a couple of decent performances or the manager just has a change of heart or whatever, and then there’s obviously talk of the contract.
“Football doesn’t shock me in any way, shape or form. And it’s not a massive shock because, don’t get me wrong, the lad’s a very good player, but he’s not been fantastic since he’s been there.”
Sigurdsson’s three goals and four assists across all competitions this term have taken his tally to 26 goals and 19 assists in 133 games since joining Everton from Swansea City in 2017, while already bettering his total goal contribution (6) from the 2019/20 campaign.
The 31-year-old is also playing at a level just shy of his efforts from the 18/19 term, which returned a career-high single-season haul of 13 goals and six assists, with just 0.2 fewer chances created and 0.3 fewer shots a game, per WhoScored.
His creativity has further had a decisive influence in three Premier League matches, which without would have seen Everton fail to claim all three points and sit 10th in the table rather than sixth and within reach of the Champions League places.
Additionally, only Rodriguez (27) has carved out a higher total number of shooting opportunities than Sigurdsson (21) in the top-flight this term, with the Iceland international recording a key pass every 42.9 minutes.