It seems a trend of many players to imitate LeBron James’ “decision” of a couple of years ago. The NHL is rife with it at the moment and Eden Hazard came closest to matching the hysteria surrounding the Miami Heat star. Even a relative unknown to wider audiences is getting in on the act now. Gylfi Sigurdsson might not have garnered this much attention prior to his January loan move to Swansea, but his impressive performances for Brendan Rodgers’ former club has done a lot to elevate his status.
Liverpool will be slightly miffed at the decision from Sigurdsson to opt for another club so late in the day, and Swansea certainly more so. From first glances, it seems Sigurdsson is another one of those players who simply can’t make up his mind what he wants or where he prefers to play. Or maybe he just likes the limelight.
Tottenham’s bid for the Icelandic international seems a fair shot at helping along a change in their midfield. Luka Modric is so far out the door that the bouncer has long forgotten he was ever in the club, and Rafael van der Vaart seems likely to return to Germany. But is the move for Sigurdsson a necessity, or is it just catching on to one of the many hot topics of the summer?
His excellent performances for Swansea last season can’t be disputed, but how does that transfer to a club with significantly higher ambitions? Sigurdsson was a star player for Hoffenheim in the short time he was at the club, and there does appear to be more attention from Germany beyond that decent single that never quite made it to number one.
There’s no doubt that Liverpool would have been the safer option for Sigurdsson at this time. He would have been embraced again (maybe for a third time) by Brendan Rodgers and would likely take up a significant role in their midfield. Rodgers is familiar with Sigurdsson’s abilities and strengths on the pitch, and with the need for a much more even distribution of goals, Sigurdsson would likely become one of the focal points of Liverpool.
The difference at Tottenham, however, is that the club are going through a transition of managers and players, with the likelihood of significant transfer funds. Unlike Liverpool at this time, Spurs may very well be in a good position to land a number of higher-profile stars to fill their voids in midfield. Joao Moutinho has been linked, as has Russia’s star from the Euros Alan Dzagoev. Both have played in the intensity of the Champions League and European Championship, allowing for a smoother transition to the demands of Tottenham over the long term.
It’s not a slight on Sigurdsson, or Liverpool for that matter, but the possible transfer targets for Tottenham at this stage seem a better fit for the club moving forward.
Does the name and marketability of a player matter? Maybe to an extent. Both Dzagoev and Moutinho are well-known on the continent, and both would add considerably to Tottenham’s image of building a strong squad. Sigurdsson may be a good player, but he doesn’t have the same wow factor as the other two.
Sigurdsson is undoubtedly a good player, but it seems Liverpool were a much better fit for his services considering the likelihood of a wider market available to Tottenham.