By Michael Brown

29th Dec, 2020 | 8:00am

Exclusive: Top pundit shares intriguing Gylfi Sigurddson-Everton verdict

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s winner against Sheffield United was emblematic of how far both he and Everton have come since the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti. 

So says Michael Brown, a Sheffield United player from 2000 to 2004, in exclusive conversation with Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

Everton beat a defiant Chris Wilder side 1-0, with the Icelandic number 10 getting 90 minutes for the third match on the bounce, as well as the decisive goal ten minutes from time.

Having missed only three matches in Everton’s 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns combined, Sigurdsson had seen his playing time decrease this season – he started just three of Everton’s opening ten matches.

But injuries to Fabian Delph, Allan, James Rodriguez and Richarlison in recent weeks have opened the window of opportunity just wide enough for the 31-year-old to slip through.

Brown has been impressed, commenting on Sigurdsson’s natural attributes as well as his role within a flourishing Everton team.

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He told Football Insider: “He [Sigurdsson] said he got a tap-in… But he took his touch and made a reverse pass into the corner. It was brilliant.”

“He’s got the confidence, Anceltotti’s come in and continued that, but they’ve improved the squad massively.

“With better players around him, getting better results, he’s always going to look better straight away.

“It’s funny that he said he was supposed to drop back and do a little bit more of the defensive role, but he spots a chance, comes forward and gets the goal.

“He’s got a real spray of pass, he’s got a good role. Now, the middle of the park looks so much stronger.”

This is Sigurdsson’s tenth season in the Premier League, his fourth with Everton after a stretch at Tottenham sandwiched between two spells with Swansea City.

An Iceland legend, he was part of the side which dumped England out of the European Championship in 2016.

In other news, an Everton defender is all but guaranteed to leave Goodison Park in the January window.