Gylfi Sigurdsson of Everton
Everton boss Sam Allardyce has told The Guardian that he thinks playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson is 'playing catch-up' having endured a stop-start pre-season.
The Toffees won Allardyce's first game in charge on Saturday afternoon, claiming a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Allardyce will have been pleased to have kept a clean sheet whilst picking up all three points, and the performance of Sigurdsson will have been a major boost.
Gylfi Sigurdsson of Everton scores against Huddersfield Town
The Icelandic playmaker joined Everton in a club-record deal over the summer, with fans expecting a major impact given his nine goals and 13 assists for Swansea City last season.
However, Sigurdsson couldn't hit the ground running under Ronald Koeman, with fans understandably a little disappointed with his lack of impact so far.
With two goals and two assists in his last four games, Sigurdsson is just beginning to turn the tide on his Everton career, and fans will be hoping that he can really kick on an thrive under Allardyce following that recent improvement.
Allardyce has now told The Guardian that he thinks Sigurdsson needs to step up to the expectation levels at Everton compared to Swansea, as it is a 'bigger stage' and he must cope with that.
Allardyce added that he thinks Sigurdsson didn't have a proper pre-season due to the speculation over his future, believing that he is playing catch-up in terms of sharpness.
“It is a big club,” said Allardyce. “No disrespect to Swansea, you are playing on a bigger stage so you have to have a greater mentality to come out and produce because the demand is higher to play for Everton.”
“Gylfi came so late because of the ongoing saga of ‘How much will he be and will Swansea let him go? Will they or won’t they? In that time he wasn’t really training with the first team and it wasn’t happening for him in terms of a full pre-season. So he is on catch-up,” he added.