Sigurdsson happy to be at Everton and hopes to feature vs. Man City
Gylfi Sigurdsson has spoken of his relief at completing his £45m move to Everton from Swansea City after admitting to a "mentally difficult" wait to conclude his transfer to Goodison Park. The 27-year-old has become Everton's record signing, and taken manager Ronald Koeman's summer spending beyond the £140m mark.
Koeman is ready to include the Iceland midfielder in his squad for Monday's Premier League clash with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, but Sigirdsson admits that, with his preseason disrupted by the ongoing speculation over his departure from Swansea, he is not yet ready to play 90 minutes for his new team.
"It's taken a while [to complete the move]," Sigurdsson said. "I'm not going to lie. It has been difficult mentally at times to finally get it over the line. Me and [Swansea manager] Paul Clement, and all of his staff, have a really good relationship. We spoke directly, no going behind each other's' backs, and always had honest conversations.
"After a long and difficult season last year, I told them if something came up I wanted to be open to it and we agreed to take it day by day. But it's good to be here and I just want to do well for Everton. It's not up to me what the club has paid for me. I put pressure on myself to score goals and create. That's all I need to focus on.
"Am I fit to play 90 minutes? Maybe not 90, you normally start with 45 minutes in preseason and then build it up from there. I have been training well in recent weeks, having come back in July, but I just need a few more minutes under my belt before I play a full 90 minutes."
Sigurdsson returns to Goodison Park after his brother tweeted a picture of him as a youngster, wearing an Everton shirt, next to a statue of Dixie Dean outside the stadium.
And Sigurdsson, a boyhood Manchester United supporter, revealed that the picture was taken during a two-day trial at Everton as a teenager.
"I had the chance to come over and train for a couple of days and be a ball-boy," he said. "I really enjoyed it and will remember for rest of life. Being next to the pitch for a Premier League game was incredible and gave me the feeling to be a Premier League player.
"I just want to do well here. The club has high ambitions and we want to continue to the progress that has happened over the last couple of years. It's a club that is on the rise and I want to be a part of it."
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_