Icy predator


Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored seven goals in just 15 appearances for Swansea so far. Having arrived at Reading at the age of just 16, Sigurdsson always looked like a star of the future and he is certainly realising his potential. By Euan Parsons.

How many Barclays English Premier League players down the years have been chairman of their own fishing company?

I'm fairly confident in saying Gylfi Sigurdsson is unique in that respect. Maybe it was the prospect of fishing in Swansea Bay that attracted the Hoffenheim midfielder to join Wales' first EPL club on loan until the end of the season. Or perhaps it was his close relationship with Swans boss Brendan Rodgers, the man who gave him his debut at Reading?

Sigurdsson has made a huge impact since his return to English football, helping Swansea to three wins from four games in March and being voted the Player of the Month for his impressive performances.

The free-scoring midfielder produced another fine display and opened the scoring as the Swans cruised to victory against struggling Blackburn to take his goal tally to an impressive seven for the EPL newcomers.

There have been some shrewd signings in the EPL this season, but not many have made a bigger impact than Sigurdsson.

Hoffenheim signed him from Reading for a fee believed to be around GBP7.5 million in 2010 and he was voted as the German club's fans' Player of the Season in May 2011 despite only starting 13 times for the club, but the 22-year-old played just seven times this season for the Bundesliga outfit.

Rodgers knew all about Sigurdsson's talents, so the Swans boss was eager to bring him to the EPL in the January transfer window and then Hoffenheim manager, Ernst Tanner, saw the move as an opportunity for him to return to full fitness after a spell on the sidelines, so the loan move was beneficial to all parties.

But even Rodgers could not have expected Sigurdsson to have made such an impact, with the Iceland star having scored seven goals in just 15 appearances so far.

Having arrived at Reading at the age of just 16, Sigurdsson always looked like a star of the future and he is certainly realising his potential.

He was loaned out to League Two clubs Crewe Alexandra and Shrewsbury Town as part of his development as a teenager at Reading and impressed with both clubs.

An attack-minded player with superb technical ability and an eye for goal, Sigurdsson soon made an impact at Reading and he was named Player of the Season for the 2009/10 campaign at the age of 20 after scoring 21 goals in all competitions.

His form reportedly alerted several EPL clubs, but he opted to sign a new three-year-contract with the Royals in May 2010. That gave Reading fans hope that they could retain Sigurdsson's services for the long term and he could help them return to the EPL.

However, he was just too good for the second tier of English football and when Hoffenheim offered a huge fee which would be the highest received by the Championship club in the summer of 2010, they were not in a position to turn the bid down.

Things did not quite work out as planned in Germany for Sigurdsson, but he has been a revelation since arriving at the Liberty Stadium and Rodgers is understandably eager to make his loan move permanent this summer.

The Swans boss said: “He's a top young talent and there will be other clubs fancying him in the summer. He loves being here, but he's still got two years left on his contract at Hoffenheim and they may want to take him back.

“I think everybody has seen his abilities and qualities since he's come in, a goal-scoring midfield player is very hard to find but that will be up to the board and the club to see what they can do.

“I've made it clear that I would love him to stay here. It's now for the club to take it to the next step.”

The Swans will face a battle to re-sign Sigurdsson at the end of the season and if they do fail to land the 22-year-old then it would be no surprise to see him lining up against them for a rival EPL club next season.

Despite being the chairman of a fishing company in his homeland, Sigurdsson claims not to be interested in fishing but for Swansea he has proved to be a real catch.

Gylfi is dating Alexandra Ívarsdóttir, a former Miss Iceland.

FACTFILE Name: Gylfi Sigurdsson Position: Midfielder

Club: Hoffenheim, but currently on loan at Swansea

DOB: 08/09/1989 Iceland caps: 7 Iceland goals: 1

Moment to remember: Scoring his first EPL goal against West Brom in February.

Moment to forget: Failing to qualify for 2008 under-19 European Championship with Iceland.

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