Sam Allardyce has revealed that Gylfi Sigurdsson was “knackered” at the start of the season – because his move to Everton took so long.
In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, the Toffees boss admitted that fans are only now seeing what the midfielder is capable of because his transfer affected him.
“I was speaking to Paul before the game and he was saying that it knackered them up and it knackered Gylfi up because it (his transfer) took so long,” said Allardyce.
“So when he arrived he wasn’t match fit and the only way he could catch up the match fitness was playing the matches in the end.”
Allardyce went on to say that now Sigurdsson was 100% match fit the midfielder could prove he is worth the £45million the club paid for him.
The midfielder scored Everton’s third goal in their 3-1 victory over Swansea City on Monday, with Allardyce alluding to his turnaround by saying, “Siggy. Wow.”
The goal was only the midfielder’s third goal in the league this season, as it previously only scored against Southampton and Huddersfield Town.
Last season for Swansea, Sigurdsson scored nine goals in 38 league appearances and grabbed 13 assists.
The victory against the Swans moved Everton above Watford into ninth, with them next in action against Chelsea on Saturday.
Everton have already played the Blues twice this season, losing on both occasions.
The most recent meeting was in October, in the League Cup, with Chelsea winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Willian and Antonio Rudiger.
However, the Toffees go into Saturday’s game unbeaten in their last six across all competitions.
You’ve got to love Big Sam, but this doesn’t quite ring true. Sigurdsson, like most of the rest of the Everton team, has only started playing when Allardyce turned up and turned the team around. The transfer did go on, but you’d expect £45million players to be able to keep themselves fit. Or, at least not take half a season to get match fit. Fans might think it’s a bit of an incredible claim from their man, but will they care? As long as they get the real Sigurdsson now, they’ll be happy.