Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson has seen his season cut short following a knee injury that could also throw his World Cup participation into doubt.
The former Swansea and Tottenham pro picked up the injury when the team played against Brighton & Hove at Goodison Park on Saturday 10th March. Despite the damage, he played the full 90 minutes of the match, which saw Everton emerge victorious 2-0. The following week he saw a specialist, and the club released an official statement saying that they expected the Icelander to be out of the game for six to eight weeks.
Everton manager, Sam Allardyce, was quoted on the club’s official website as saying they would “continue to assess (his) progress on a week to week basis and the medical team will work very closely with him, as they would with any injured player, to get him back playing as quickly as possible”.
Full details of the injury are still to be confirmed and released, but there are fears that Sigurdsson has sustained long-term ligament damage, a notoriously difficult injury to recover from. In spite of the knee damage, Sigurdsson covered more yards than any other player on the team during the match by running more and making the third highest number of sprints. As the club’s most expensive signing to date (£45 million), he had a difficult start to his first season with The Blues, but his performance picked up when Ronald Koeman was removed and Allardyce took over the reins. Playing a total of 17 matches as a full Blues team member, he’s scored five of his seven goals so far this season since late November.
However, it’s not just the rest of the season with Everton that’s been thrown into jeopardy; Sigurdsson might also miss out on the chance to compete in this year’s World Cup with his home team. Iceland will make their World Cup debut against Argentina in just less than 3 months’ time on June 6th, with current odds of around 11/1 to win. For Iceland, losing their leading man could mean that they also lose their World Cup dreams.
Speaking of the World Cup, Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is hotly-tipped to be in the running to play for England during the tournament. Allardyce has backed the 24-year-old as his number one pick for the squad, saying, “nothing fazes this lad” and that his maturity, age and talent are giving him “the opportunity to take it”. England manager Gareth Southgate has already selected four potential picks for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and the Netherlands, including Joe Hart and Jack Butland, but Pickford is expected to be in goal against the Dutch at the Amsterdam Arena.
As far as the rest of the 2017/18 season goes for Everton, Allardyce has to face up to, and deal with, the loss of a player who’s created 38 chances this season (a total of 13 more than any other player). Ranked at 29th in the League, Sigurdsson is one of only two Everton players currently in the Top 100, with the other being Wayne Rooney at 68th. Despite his tricky start, Sigurdsson has delivered a solid performance since last autumn, leaving his club manager with quite the void to fill.