Everton’s $57.8 million club-record move for Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson is almost complete.
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Toffees boss Ronald Koeman was speaking to the media ahead of the first leg of their UEFA Europa League playoff against Hajduk Split on Thursday, and he confirmed Sigurdsson has undergone a medical at their Finch Farm training ground without any hiccups.
He also stated that Sigurdsson, 27, could make his Everton debut away at Manchester City on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) if everything goes to plan.
This news will be a relief for everyone concerned. Everton. Sigurdsson. Swansea. Koeman. Absolutely everyone. This has taken over six weeks to sort out but the end game is near and Swansea will at least get a huge profit as they bought Sigurdsson for Spurs in 2014 for $11.5 million, but did send Ben Davies and Michel Vorm in the opposite direction. Spurs also have a 10 percent sell-on clause in this deal.
The Icelandic playmaker scored nine goals and added 13 assists in the Premier League last season as he kept Swansea in the Premier League but the former Reading, Hoffenheim and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder will now link up with Koeman at Goodison Park.
Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez and Davy Klaassen will all be tasked with chipping in with double figures in terms of goals this season to counteract the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United for $96.5 million earlier this summer.
In his prime and ready to be a key piece of Everton’s attacking unit for the foreseeable future, it appears that Sigurdsson has landed in the right place. This is a massive blow for Swansea but for Everton it’s magnificent news.
Sigurdsson will have a large transfer fee hanging over his head and some suggest he prefers being a bigger fish in a smaller pond a la Swansea compared to his time at Tottenham.
We are about to find out if he can handle the pressure of leading a top four charge for the Toffees. Given his incredible assist record last season (only Kevin De Bruyne and Christian Eriksen provided more in the PL) he should slot in just fine at Everton.
Tony Pulis has his replacement for Darren Fletcher.
The West Bromwich Albion manager made the comparison after his club announced the addition of Gareth Barry, the consistent midfielder set to set another Premier League standard with five more appearances.
Barry, 36, has the second-most appearances in league history, and will soon chase down Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs to become the all-time leader. Barry has 628 appearances between Everton, Manchester City, and Aston Villa.
[MORE: Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool | Klopp reacts to W ]
Everton receives an undisclosed fee for Barry, and the player gets a one-year deal. There was some talk of Barry moving to MLS, though that was always unlikely this year with the player on the precipice of history.
West Brom beat Bournemouth 1-0 in Week 1, and next matches up with Burnley. In some ways, that feels like a match the gritty Gareth Barry is supposed to play.
The Gylfi Sigurdsson transfer saga is nearly over, as multiple reports say Swansea City has agreed to sell its Icelandic playmaker to Everton for $58 million.
Sigurdsson, 27, scored nine goals last season and teamed with Fernando Llorente to form a potent duo. He’s recorded seven-, 11-, and 9-goal Premier League seasons for Swans.
[ MORE: Chelsea set for spending spree? ]
It’s a huge hit to Swans’ hope of surviving another season in the Premier League should the Welsh side not invest in a replacement. That said, using a good portion of that money would arguably make Swansea superior to their pre-sale status.
The move may also finally tip the scales for Everton in accepting an offer for Ross Barkley.
Swansea saw Sigurdsson score seven goals in 18 appearances during a loan from Hoffenheim in 2012, only to see the Bundesliga outfit sell him to Spurs for just under $12 million.
Swans then purchased Sigurdsson two years later for $12 million, and have now made $46 million on midfielder.
Short of being someone who simply prefer a great goal to an amazing save, choosing between these two outstanding plays is a very difficult.
Everton backstop Jordan Pickford saved the Toffees’ opening day win with an eye-rubbing flying save of Xherdan Shaqiri in a 1-0 win over Stoke City.
[ MORE: Premier League roundup ]
It was the Potters’ only shot on goal, a much-needed change of pace for the ex-Sunderland keeper, but Pickford made his save feel like it counted double.
But is it more impressive then Stephen Ward‘s outstanding shot to give Burnley a 2-0 lead in its 3-2 win at Chelsea?
Even separating the goal from the occasion, Ward’s strike is fantastic. If it came off the left foot of a bigger name — and maybe on a day without soccer mayhem in the PL — it would be everywhere.
Let it run through your retina real quick.
Wayne Rooney‘s had a few matches back in Everton blue, but his Premier League return to Goodison Park was circled on his calendar.
It finished 1-0. Guess who scored.
[ RECAP/VIDEO: Everton 1-0 Stoke ]
Netting the match-winner was a dreamlike moment for Rooney. Even a man with 199 Premier League goals is going to notice the combination of returning home, Opening Day, and a go-ahead goal.
And with a murderous run of fixtures ahead, the longtime Manchester United and England captain knows how much this can mean to the Toffees. From the BBC:
“On a personal level scoring the winning goal at Goodison Park is a special moment. It doesn’t get much better. To play for this club is a huge deal for me.”
“We’ve got some tough games coming up so it’s important we got off to a good start.”
Everton hosts Hajduk Split in the first leg of a Europa League playoff tie on Thursday, and then faces Man City, Chelsea, and Manchester United away, with a visit from Spurs for good measure.
Yep, these three points and that moment for Rooney may be invaluable for the season’s momentum.