Look No Further! Swansea City Already Have Their Gylfi Sigurdsson Replacement
With the sale of Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton, Swansea City's longest-running summer saga finally came to an end. The £45m-plus transfer fee coming into the club will allow manager Paul Clement to fill-in the various holes in the squad - such as finding a new starting right-back, and a new winger, albeit in January, if need be.
One position that will not need to be filled, however, is that of the now-departed Sigurdsson.
The Icelandic star played a vital role in the Swansea offence, both as a facilitator and driving force.
Last season he ranked third in the Premier League for assists, directly creating 13 goals. Yet for as big a loss as Sigurdsson obviously is, his departure presents a unique and sudden opportunity for the Swans to bring back to form one of their greatest assets - Ki Sung-yueng.
The South Korean midfielder was the Welsh club's 2014-2015 Player of the Season, after returning from a 2013-2014 campaign where he had been on loan at Sunderland. Playing a deeper offensive role than in recent years, the 28-year old was a fluid passer who played an important role in the offence, and looked set to only get better.
However, the past two seasons have seen the midfielder plagued by injury and poor form, whilst the return of Sigurdsson pushed him into a more defensive role.
Playing in front of the defence, Ki's time at the position exposed his defensive weaknesses. An unwilling tackler, he struggles when confronted with the more physical side of the game and has declined as an aerial presence. However, a move back to a more offensive role will allow him yet again to unleash his talents - and in doing so, he will serve as a more-than-adequate replacement for Sigurdsson.
In addition to his undoubted passing and creative abilities, Ki is an accomplished set-piece taker. Able to strike a free kick from deep and swing dangerous corners into the box, the former Celtic star brings much to the table that can only now be utilised with Sigurdsson's departure.
Of course, whilst Ki can cover positionally for Sigurdsson, he cannot completely replicate everything the Iceland star brought to the team on his own.
In particular, a high-quality, consistent winger needs to be brought in to provide striker Tammy Abraham and a returning Wilfried Bony with dangerous crosses into the box. Losing Sigurdsson's crossing ability is an obvious step back for Swansea, but not one that cannot be somewhat replicated.
Again, make no mistakes about it; losing Gylfi Sigurdsson was a tremendous blow for Swansea City. He was undoubtedly their best player, and more than anyone, was an essential cog in the Swans' offence. However, in Ki Sung-yueng they have a player more than capable enough to take over the reigns, provided he can replicate the form he showed back in 2014-2015.
New signings are needed at Swansea City - but for the moment, they have Sigurdsson's old spot covered.