18 Gylfi Sigurðsson

isl Iceland
September 8, 1989

Gylfi Sigurdsson became Everton’s record signing by completing a switch from Swansea City in the summer of 2017.

The Icelandic superstar became Ronald Koeman’s eighth signing of the transfer window, following the acquisitions of Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Henry Onyekuru, Sandro Ramirez, Michael Keane, Wayne Rooney and Cuco Martina.

Born in Reykjavík, Sigurdsson began his youth career in his homeland with Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar (FH) and Breiðablik UBK, before moving to English shores to join Reading as a 16-year-old.

He made his professional debut for the Royals in 5-1 win over Luton Town in the second round of the League Cup.

Sigurdsson subsequently spent loan spells with Shrewsbury Town and Crewe Alexandra, but returned to the Madejski Stadium ahead of the 2009/10 season and quickly established himself as one of Reading’s key performers, finishing the campaign with 20 goals in 44 matches.

After netting in Reading’s opening game of the 2010/11 term, a thunderous 25-yard strike, and another to ensure a 2-1 win over Leicester City at the end of August, Sigurdsson left the club to sign for 1899 Hoffenheim for a fee reported to be in the region of £6.5m.

Despite starting only 13 games during his maiden season in Germany, he was voted the club’s Fans’ Player of the Season.

Sigurdsson joined Premier League side Swansea City on loan on New Year’s Day in 2012. A productive five months in south Wales followed, with the attacking midfielder even scooping the Premier League Player of the Month award for March for his performances.

A permanent transfer to the Swans collapsed, allowing Tottenham Hotspur to swoop and secure Sigurdsson’s signature for a fee of £8.8m.

He spent two seasons at White Hart Lane, scoring eight goals in 58 top-flight appearances, but then rejoined the Swans for a second spell as part of an exchange deal that saw defender Ben Davies go in the opposite direction.

And having returned to the Swans, Sigurdsson once again became a key man thanks to his ability to score and create goals, as well his willingness to put in a shift for his team.

He was named Swans Player of the Year in both 2015/16 and 2016/17, while also becoming a firm fans’ favourite at the Liberty Stadium.

He scored nine goals and contributed 13 assists as Swansea beat the drop in dramatic fashion in his last season in Wales.

On the international stage, the 6ft 1in midfielder starred for Iceland as they reached the last 16 of Euro 2016.