LONDON: Five things on Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson after he signed for Everton from Swansea on Wednesday:
'Lamps' lights up Sigurdsson's world
Sigurdsson's role model is former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard. "Frank Lampard was always the player I tried to model myself on," Sigurdsson told 'The Daily Telegraph' last year. "The amount of goals he scored from midfield was incredible. On and off the pitch, he was what I wanted to be." Sigurdsson did get to work with a Frank Lampard but it was the former Chelsea star's dad Frank Senior when he was an academy coach at Reading. "I was lucky enough to work with his father for a short period at Reading and that gave me an insight into why he is the player he is, why he has scored so many goals. He taught me a lot, mentally as much as anything."
Sigurdsson's 'incredible day'
Iceland and England rarely feature in the same news story save when there are fishing disputes but Sigurdsson and his team-mates will forever be recalled for beating the country which invented the 'Beautiful Game' 2-1 at Euro 2016 to progress to the quarter-finals. "Making it to France was a fantastic achievement for the [Iceland] team and the country but beating England in the last 16 was an incredible day," Sigurdsson told Omnisport.
Sigurdsson can thank his father Sigurdur Adalsteinsson and his elder brother Olafur for making the big time. Their father even rented a warehouse for the winter so his younger son's training regime was not interrupted. Olafur -- a capable golfer although earning qualification to the European Tour never materialised -- realised that Gylfi's build resembled that of a long distance runner so he would rely more on technique than a physical and robust game. However, Olafur had to teach himself before he could become Gylfi's coach. "I was trying to find every VHS tape I could find and tried to learn how to coach a young kid," Olafur said. "I did these exercises myself before I had Gylfi do them to see how it was."
Sum of his parts makes him special
Reading snapped up Sigurdsson but sent him out on loan first to Shrewsbury Town and then to Crewe Alexandra who were managed by compatriot Gudjon Thordarsson. It was he who played Sigurdsson in central midfield where he plays for his country although at several of his clubs he was often positioned out wide. "He's probably not the best when it comes to defending or when it comes to attacking, but when you put them all together, he is one of the best midfield players in the world today," Iceland head coach Lars Lagerback recounted in the book 'Atvinnumadurinn Gylfi Sigurdsson' (Gylfi Sigurdsson, The Professional).
Swansea tourist ambassador?
Sigurdsson may have left Swansea but it sounds as if the non-drinking non-smoking midfielder will miss the more tranquil life in Swansea as he waxed lyrical about the contrast with London, where he lived when he played for Spurs for two largely underwhelming years. "The people here are so friendly, different to London where everyone is in a rush," he said last year. "There’s no traffic here, well hardly any, there’s the beaches, in the summer this is just beautiful. Of course it rains a lot, but I’m not complaining." The bustling and lively atmosphere of Liverpool may come as a shock to him.