Forget Sissoko: Everton must sign this PL assists master if they lose Barkley in January
COMMENT By Matt Farr
As the January transfer window approaches, the future of Ross Barkley grows increasingly uncertain.
The England international has been a big hit at Goodison Park in recent seasons but his performances throughout the new campaign have hardly impressed the Everton fans.
Plus, with a new manager at the helm at the start of the season in Ronald Koeman, every Everton player has had to plead their case for a place in the starting XI.
Barkley has so far failed to impress Koeman, and opportunities for him to live up to his star potential are fast running out.
The 23-year-old has contributed just three goals and two assists from 17 appearances in all competitions.
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Several clubs, including Tottenham, have already expressed an interest in the player next month, and if offered the right price, Koeman could be tempted into selling him.
If Everton do lose Barkley in January, the club will need to bring in someone capable of filling his role in the Everton team. They have been linked with Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko but should forget that idea. Koeman should look no further than Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Iceland international has been arguably Swansea’s best performer for two seasons, and he is continuing to shine even as Swansea find themselves in a perilous position in the Premier League’s bottom three.
Sigurdsson already has six goals and five assists from 18 games in all competitions, and would be the perfect addition to Everton’s attack, perhaps giving them the spark that has so far eluded them for the large part of the campaign.
His versatility means Koeman could deploy him either in the centre or on the left-hand side of midfield, but the Everton would get the best out of him in a central role, where he has excelled for club and country.
Sigurdsson is also a major threat from set-pieces, while his passing and distribution ability is second to none. The Toffees already have pace in Yannick Bolasie and Gerard Deulofeu, and a target-man in Romelu Lukaku – but Sigurdsson is the master of assists and can be the final piece in the puzzle.
The 27-year-old still has four years left on his contract at the Liberty Stadium, but Swansea’s current flirtations with the relegation zone makes the prospect of joining a club with a more secure Premier League status perhaps more appealing.
Swansea would not want to sell him, particularly mid-way through the campaign, as he is key to their survival bid. But if Everton can table a decent offer, then Sigurdsson could well be tempted to part with the club he has called home since 2014.
In other Everton news, the Toffees have reportedly tabled a £40 million bid for this Manchester United outcast.