Koeman lauds Sigurdsson as among most productive

LONDON • Everton manager Ronald Koeman said he expects Gylfi Sigurdsson to boost the club's scoring options after the attacking midfielder completed his club-record move from Swansea on Wednesday.

Sigurdsson signed a five-year contract after both clubs agreed on a fee, which British media reported to be £45 million (S$79 million).

The 27-year-old played a key part in Swansea avoiding relegation last season, scoring nine goals and providing 13 assists.

"We worked a long time to get this deal in and he was one of the key players to bring in," Koeman told a news conference.

"We knew we would lose (Romelu) Lukaku for this season and we need players who bring productivity to the team."

Lukaku moved to Manchester United last month, for a reported transfer fee of £75 million.

"Sigurdsson is the type of player with a lot of productivity," the Everton manager added.

"In my opinion, he is one of the best in the Premier League."

The Iceland international is Everton's eighth new signing of the close season and he is eager to repay Koeman's faith in him.

"Hopefully I will continue to create goals and score goals for the team and contribute to the kind of success we're seeking at the club," he told evertontv.

"This is an ambitious club and it is clear we are moving in a really good direction. The most important thing is that this team keeps winning games and climbing the table - and does that throughout the season."

However, Koeman did not rule out signing another forward before the transfer window closes on Aug 31.

"We still need to sign a striker," the Dutchman said.

"We brought in Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez and now Gylfi, and maybe they can share the goals, but we still need another one to play (as) the No. 9.

"When you play in Europe, and let's hope we reach Europe, and in the Premier League you cannot do it with just one or two strikers."

Everton, whose summer spending now stands at £131 million, were linked with Arsenal's Olivier Giroud last month.

But the French striker has decided to stay with the Gunners, and Koeman believes that there is only a slim chance that Everton will be able to sign the 30-year-old.

Giroud's decision has left the Toffees looking at other options, including Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke and Fiorentina's Nikola Kalinic, according to a report by the Liverpool Echo.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2017, with the headline 'Koeman lauds Sigurdsson as among most productive'. Print Edition | Subscribe