Ross Barkley has started to excel under the guidance of Sarri. Meanwhile, Sigurdsson has become Everton’s main creative outlet on a more consistent basis. Barkley was considered a “Paul Gascoigne” style talent when he was learning his trade at Goodison Park. While Sigurdsson went from being a cult hero at Swansea to Everton’s go-to-guy for creating opportunities. We’re asking today, Barkley vs Sigurdsson: Who’s the better attacking midfielder?
Barkley vs Sigurdsson: The case for Chelsea’s reinvigorated talent
Ross Barkley and consistency do not typically go together. During his time with Everton, the media and fans would be calling him the next great British natural talent one week, and a luxury player the following. Barkley frustrated, and couldn’t seem to maintain a high level of performance week in, week out. However, when the midfielder was on form, he could be nearly impossible to stop.
The stats show how patchy his form was during his years at Goodison Park. In his last season with Everton, he finished with 5 goals and 8 assists. This followed the 2015/2016 season where he had 8 goals and 8 assists. Barkley wasn’t progressing as per the initial expectations. There is always additional pressure heaped on young English players by the media, but Barkley often went missing. The comparisons to a young Gazza or Rooney didn’t help. It’s nearly forgotten now that Roy Hodgson thought so highly of Barkley that he included him in his 2014 World Cup squad.
Barkley’s last season was a disaster. Nearly 200 days out of action due to a hamstring injury, he managed only 131 minutes of action in the Premier League. Chelsea signed him for 15M in January, which can now be seen as a bargain. There has been a considerable change this campaign. Sarri has revitalised Barkley and clearly trusts him to be a creative outlet. In 10 appearances, where 5 have come from the bench, Barkely already has 3 goals and 3 assists. It’s clear that he’s operating better in a team full of world-class stars, where the spotlight doesn’t shine so brightly on him. At 24, Barkley has the right platform now to fulfill his potential. Chelsea will reap the rewards.
Barkley vs Sigurdsson: The case for Everton’s main man
45 million pounds is a hefty fee for a 28-year-old even by today’s standards. It should be only a matter of time though, before that money can be considered ‘well spent’. Sigurdsson nearly single-handedly kept Swansea in the Premier League during his time there. Just look what happened after he left. They’ll play Bolton today in the Championship as Sigurdsson prepares to take on Chelsea. His goals, assists and creativity made him a menace to opposition defences.
In his last season with Swansea, the club scored a total of 45 goals (28 the year after). Sigurdsson scored 9 of these and had 13 assists. He was Swansea. The team was very limited in ability, but Sigurdsson managed to bring them up another level. 11 goals and 3 assists in the 2015/2016 season and 7 goals with 10 assists in the 2014/2015 season showed his importance to the club. He’s had, arguably, an even greater impact on an international level by leading Iceland to a Euros and a World Cup.
Last year at Everton, Sigurdsson can be excused as he had to endure the football ‘philosophy’ of Big Sam. A focus on defence and containment left the attacking midfielder feeding off scraps. He managed 4 goals and 3 assists in 25 starts. When you’re not hitting the same levels at Everton as you were at Swansea, questions have to be asked. Sigurdsson must have wept with joy at the appointment of Silva. He has since become the focal point of the side. His set-piece delivery is back on point, and he’s getting on the scoresheet. 5 goals and 2 assists in just 11 Premier League games show not only how important Sigurdsson is to Everton, but also confirms his status as an elite performer.
What do you think? Let us know by voting below: