More than welcome return

Published : Sep 20, 2014 00:00 IST

The deal that took Gylfi Sigurdsson back to Swansea from Tottenham was finalised on July 23 and he capped his first EPL game back with a late winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the opening day in the early kick-off.

After a frustrating two seasons at Tottenham, Gylfi Sigurdsson is back with Swansea, the club where he made his English Premier League breakthrough.

He re-joined the Swans this summer as part of a swap deal, with left-back Ben Davies, 21, heading in the opposite direction.

Sigurdsson first arrived at the Liberty Stadium on loan from Hoffenheim in the 2012 January transfer window. A silky playmaker and free-kick specialist, he scored seven goals in 18 league appearances as they made a successful return to the top flight, finishing 12th.

Reunited with Brendan Rodgers, who had previously managed him at Reading, Sigurdsson was a revelation. His debut came in a 3-2 win over Arsenal, emerging as a second-half substitute to slide in Danny Graham for the deciding goal.

That moment set a template for future success as Sigurdsson played off the lone striker to great effect, claiming three assists in his first four games.

He went on to be named Premier League Player of the Month for March — the only Icelander to claim the award — having helped Swansea to three wins in a row. They beat Wigan 2-0 courtesy of wonder strikes from Sigurdsson, who picked up another brace at Fulham.

When the transfer window re-opened he was in high demand. Swansea agreed a fee with Hoffenheim before Rodgers was coaxed away to Liverpool and the move collapsed.

Rodgers re-ignited this interest at his new club but Sigurdsson was spirited to Tottenham instead, becoming the first signing of Andre Villas-Boas’ reign for GBP8.8 million.

Unfortunately, he struggled to replicate his earlier form at White Hart Lane, with fierce competition for his preferred role coming from fellow new signings Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele. This only increased last summer following the arrival of Christian Eriksen, with Sigurdsson often shunted out left to accommodate him.

He persevered, offering some glimpses of quality, but not enough to remain in new manager Mauricio Pochettino’s plans. Due to Spurs’ Europa League exploits he made 85 appearances in all competitions for the club during his two-season stay.

The deal that took Sigurdsson back to Swansea was finalised on July 23 and he capped his first game back with a late winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the opening day in the early kick-off. It was a more-than-welcome return for someone who will be key to his side’s fortunes.

Sigurdsson has since played his part in helping Swans make a flying start to the new Premier League season, winning their first three games to join Chelsea as the only two teams with a 100 per cent record.

Outside of football, fishing is the family business and in 2011 he became chairman of the Lotna ehf company, based in his homeland. His girlfriend is Alexandra Ivarsdottir, a model who won the Miss Iceland in 2008, and went on to represent her country in that year’s Miss World contest.

FACTFILENAME: Gylfi SigurdssonPOSITION: Attacking midfielderDOB: 08/09/1989COUNTRY: IcelandCLUB: Swansea CityINTERNATIONAL CAPS: 23INTERNATIONAL GOALS: 5

MOMENT TO REMEMBER: Scoring the deciding goal on his Swansea return in a 2-1 win over Manchester United, spoiling Louis van Gaal’s first match in charge in the process.

MOMENT TO FORGET: Choosing Tottenham over Liverpool in the summer of 2012. He stagnated at White Hart Lane while, Liverpool, after a season of stabilising, went on to mount a title challenge under Brendan Rodgers.

PA Sport

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