Gylfi Says Game-Changing Walcott Adds New Dimension

by Paul McNamara
@Everton

Gylfi Sigurdsson says Everton have signed a game-changer in Theo Walcott and is promising the Toffees will get “on the front foot” in search of victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Icelander Sigurdsson was instrumental to the Blues' significant upturn in form following the arrival of Sam Allardyce as boss in November.

And after a “frustrating” period since Christmas, the 28-year-old revealed the Everton dressing room was given a "real boost" by the injection of two “top, top, players” in the shape of Walcott and Cenk Tosun.

Moreover, Sigurdsson, who by his own admission has delivered his best football in a Toffees jersey since Allardyce’s appointment, believes the dynamic new duo will help elevate his own game even further.

“It is hugely important for us to bring in the likes of those two,” Sigurdsson told evertonfc.com.

“They are top, top players and I am sure they will benefit the squad enormously. You do not often see top players moving in January, so it is great for us that we have been able to bring them in.

“Adding fresh bodies at this stage of the season always energises everybody – but even more so when it is two players like Theo and Cenk. It is good for the team, the fans and the whole Club. And it has given us a real boost.

“Their attributes will help me: the pace and movement of Theo, and Cenk’s quality and movement in the box.

“When you have the likes of Theo, with his natural pace on the wing… it adds a big threat to our game and give us more options going forward.

“It changes the way teams have to defend against us when you have that genuine pace running in behind and sprinting onto through balls.

“Cenk is clever, not just with his movement. He can see a pass as well, which is good for a striker.

“He has been very good around the place. He is really polite and respectful, so the boys all really like him.

“We obviously can’t judge him on the game at Tottenham last week, he was up there on his own and dealing with two or three defenders.

“We will be more attacking against West Brom, play better, create more and provide him with some chances in front of goal.”

Sigurdsson has scored three goals and assisted another two in 19 Premier League starts since joining Everton from Swansea City in a Club-record deal back in August.

The 55-cap Iceland international has also been on target in European and FA Cup action – but concedes it took him a while to get up to speed with the Blues after a truncated pre-season at his former club.

Sigurdsson has now hit his straps, however, and is eagerly anticipating the prospect of featuring in a richly-talented attack – with Tosun, Walcott, Yannick Bolasie and Dominc Calvert-Lewin among a raft of players vying for starting spots across Everton's frontline.

Sigurdsson's most recent Premier League goal for the Blues came in glorious fashion against former employers Swansea at Goodison Park on 18 December.

He stroked the ball past Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from 20 yards to put the Blues in front and on the way to three points. That was in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten top-flight run, which launched Everton into the top half of the division.

The Toffees have lost their past three league fixtures, however, culminating with last week’s defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

Everton nevertheless remain in ninth spot and with this weekend's match against West Brom followed 11 days later by a home encounter with Leicester City, Sigurdsson is spying an opportunity for his side to make a dent in the seven-point gap separating them from the top-seven places.

“We have a run of fixtures now where we really need to pick up some points,” added Sigurdsson.

“We gave away last week’s game in the second half and we felt exceptionally frustrated – even more so because of the two games leading up to it.

“In the space of a few weeks we jumped from 18th into mid-table. If you put three, four, five results together – not necessarily winning every match but consistently picking up points – it is crazy how high up the table you can get.

“The supporters will be very important in these next two games, especially with the noise they can make inside Goodison.

“They are passionate fans, which is good for the team. We really need to get going and Saturday is one of those games where it is vital to make a good start and get on the front foot.

“And get a result, no matter how we do it. We need those three points.”

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