124 appearances, 34 goals, 29 assists, 4 seasons across 2 separate spells. Gylfi Sigurdsson is arguably, if not definitely, the most technically gifted player to have pulled on the Swansea black and white.
As a transfer saga that has exasperated Swans’ fans from Mynydd-Bach to Minnesota finally draws to an inevitable conclusion, the club will now be looking to rebuild not only for the coming season but perhaps the coming weekend.
An evidently frustrated figure by the end of last season, Sigurdsson often seemed the only bright spark in otherwise a very depressing period. Not only with his goals and assists, but his work-rate and innovation almost single-handedly kept us in the Premier League last season; you’d be a fool to suggest any different.
His desire for a move away – despite his comments in the post-season awards dinner – comes as no surprise. 28 next month, Gylfi is in his prime and knows just as well as we do what he is capable of. It may not be the Bayern Munich or Chelsea that he’d have dreamed of, but at the stage they’re at in their transitionary period, a move to Everton could prove to be a bigger step up than it currently seems.
It’s a familiar position for a club of our size. Southampton are having to deal with a similar scenario with Virgil van Dijk, and faced the same struggles when Liverpool came in for Dejan Lovren in 2014. Even the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool are up against it at the moment, with Alexis Sanchez and Philippe Coutinho both pushing for moves from their respective clubs.
As much as it’s a saga that has dragged on for far longer than it should have, I’m still proud that we refused to roll over. Admittedly, we didn’t receive the £50m we initially demanded, but I don’t think we ever expected to. From what I’ve read (and that’s likely no more than yourself), the weeks of haggling were down to the percentage of the fee being paid up-front.
What good is £10m in add-ons for a club desperate for additions? We lost out on millions in the sale of Wilfried Bony due to add-ons, some of which were optimistic on Manchester City’s behalf to say the least.
So the deal is done, albeit several weeks later than we’d have liked. A reputation – though not a legacy – that has been tarnished for some but for me, the positives he provided us with will always outweigh the pain we’ve endured over the past few weeks.
We lost Sinclair, we lost Michu, we lost Bony, we lost Ayew, we lost Williams and every single time, we rebuilt and we have been fine. Losing Sigurdsson will be no different.
Players come and go, but not one of them ever has – or ever will – be bigger than our football club.