Gylfi Sigurdsson says he is pain free and “recharged and ready” for the new Premier League season following his World Cup exploits with Iceland.
Everton attacker Sigurdsson recovered from the knee injury which prematurely ended his first Goodison Park campaign to star for his country in Russia this summer.
He scored six goals and created another five in 30 starts for the Blues after becoming the Club’s record signing when he joined from Swansea City last August.
Sigurdsson reported back to USM Finch Farm in mid-July along with midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, who featured in all three of Senegal’s World Cup finals fixtures.
The 28-year-old “hit the ground running” on his return and was pitched into action for the first half of last week’s friendly encounter with Blackburn Rovers. Fewer than 48 hours after his outing at Ewood Park, Sigurdsson completed the full 90 minutes of Everton’s match against Ligue 1 team Rennes.
“It was straight in at the deep end which was good,” Sigurdsson told evertontv. “It was good to get the match fitness, which is something I need because the season is not too far away.
“But I think me and Gana have quickly got up to speed and caught up with the boys.
“We wanted minutes and to play games as soon as possible. We have been doing double sessions – and they are hard sessions – and could really feel it in the Blackburn game. We were leggy and a bit tired.
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“It was nice for me personally to get 90 minutes in France. And we have one more game before the season starts, which is good.”
Sigurdsson’s knee problem sidelined him for Everton’s final eight games last season and left him in a race against time to make his country's opening World Cup fixture against twice winners Argentina on June 16.
He won his fitness battle and was Iceland's standout player in a 1-1 draw with the South Americans. Sigurdsson scored from the spot in his team's final match against Croatia when Iceland took their bid to progress to the knockout stages right down to the wire.
A last-ditch goal from Ivan Perisic scuppered their hopes of securing a last-16 berth and after being “desperately close” to creating more history for the tiny nation Sigurdsson was naturally frustrated his stay in Russia did not last longer.
He was nevertheless delighted to report that he felt “fully fit” following the competition. After playing catch-up following his post-World Cup rest – Sigurdsson and Gana were back at Finch Farm more than a fortnight after their teammates – the former Tottenham Hotspur player is eagerly anticipating the Premier League's big kick off, with Everton starting at newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, August 11.
“I managed to get about three weeks of holiday, which I felt I needed after the rehab and tournament,” said Sigurdsson. “And mentally [it was important] to go and think about something else and spend time with friends and family. To recharge and get ready for the new season.
“I was just about fit for the start of the World Cup. I played my first 90 minutes against Argentina and was probably fully fit after the last game.
“I did feel the injury a little bit when I was striking the ball and shooting at certain times. But after the time I had off I cannot feel anything. I feel really good now.
“It was a bit different for me and Gana. We came in a few weeks later than the rest of the boys.
“We were joining in with the team, then doing our stuff with the fitness coaches. But we are fully back with the team now.”
Sigurdsson is set to feature in Everton’s final warm-up fixture when Spanish two-times Champions League finalists Valencia visit Goodison Park on Saturday.
The match could provide an opportunity for French left-back Lucas Digne to play his first football for the Blues after completing a transfer from Barcelona this week.
Former Lille, Paris Saint-Germain and Roma player Digne penned a five-year deal to become manager Marco Silva’s second Everton signing following the arrival of Brazilian attacker Richarlison last month.
“It is fantastic [that Digne has joined],” added Sigurdsson. “We would love to see him in the blue shirt as soon as possible. He has played for some fantastic clubs and is a very good player.
“You need that competition [for places] for the season. It is such a long season and you will have injuries or suspensions.
“It is good to have two great left-backs and hopefully both of them will stay fit.”
Gylfi Sigurdsson spoke exclusively to evertontv about his first few weeks working under new boss Marco Silva. The midfielder also revealed his excitement at linking up with new signing Richarlison, detailed his World Cup experience and discussed his hopes for the forthcoming campaign.
Sigurdsson’s full interview is available for free to Season Ticket holders and We Are Everton Members and is part of a wide range of exclusive content throughout the 2018/19 campaign which includes live streams of Under-23s and Under-18s games, exclusive features and more.
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