Silva reveals effort to restore Sigurdsson self-belief

Gylfi Sigurdsson struggled to justify his transfer fee last season, but Marco Silva is confident he can make an impact this campaign.

Published : Aug 25, 2018 15:00 IST

Marco Silva made a concerted effort to renew Gylfi Sigurdsson's self-belief in the lead up to this campaign following a difficult first season with Everton.

Sigurdsson joined Everton in a reported £40million move from Swansea City before the start of last season. But, the Iceland international struggled to justify that outlay, scoring four goals and providing only three assists in the Premier League.

The midfielder has played in a more advanced role under new manager Silva in the opening two games of the season. And, the Portuguese boss is confident Sigurdsson can make more of an impact in 2018-19.

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He said of his pre-season pep talk with Sigurdsson: "I told him I believe in him and his quality and then, it was up to him to prove his quality, and he deserved a role in the XI. He is doing everything, trying and improving. I was clear with him like I was with all of them."

"I think it is possible he is enjoying [playing further upfield], because he told me, but I know he is ready to play in different positions as well, and I have an idea what is possible in different positions when he can perform in a better way."

"He is ready to play in different positions. I don't want to talk about his role last season - with him and the other players  - it's not for me to talk about what happened to them."

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"We show them what we expect, what his role will be. He started pre-season later because he was in the World Cup. He prepares his mind and body to play to high intensity. He is in a good moment to help the team."

Only one of Everton's six close-season signings, Richarlison, has played in the opening pair of fixtures with Wolves and Southampton, from which the Toffees have taken four points.

But, Brazil winger Bernard could make his debut against Bournemouth on Saturday. "Everything we did in the market is to improve our squad and grow the competition, which is important for me," Silva added.

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"We signed players we thought can improve. Just because they signed it does not mean they go in the starting XI. They have to come, to train and show they can improve our squad."

"We have to get them to the level and work hard with all the other players. This week, I can tell you I saw Bernard growing his physical condition. That is important to me. I saw [Kurt] Zouma improve as well. With both of them ready we will be stronger."

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