By 90Min
August 01, 2018

The tug of war between Premier League rivals Watford and Everton for the services of Marco Silva was one of the more unsavoury moments of the last domestic campaign and left a rather bitter taste in the mouths of both clubs.

Having led the Hornets to the top half of the league standings by the halfway mark last term, Silva famously had his head turned by the advances of the Merseysiders and from that point on Watford's fortunes nosedived.

Silva was dismissed by the Pozzi family last January citing "the unwarranted approach" by the Toffees, which resulted in the loss of team focus as results fell away.


Over seven months on however, and after the two clubs agreed a deal that would see winger Richarlison make the move to the north west for £40m, a sense of closure seems to have been brought to the matter.

Having eschewed club politics to one side, Everton now appear to be full steam ahead for the 2018/19 season. 

While the arrivals of Richarlison and Lucas Digne offer hope and promise, the presence of the man who was brought in last summer for a club-record fee could now be the greatest beneficiary of Silva's arrival.

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Other than his two separate spells with Swansea City, Gylfi Sigurdsson's form outside of south Wales has been mixed at best. 

Neither Tottenham Hotspur nor Everton have seen the best of the Icelandic set-piece maestro, but that could be about to change.

Initially brought in by Ronald Koeman, who was expected the get the best out of his 28-year-old talisman through his more direct and offensive style, the Dutchman floundered and having lost both the dressing room and fan backing was given his marching orders.

As Sam Allardyce was brought in to steer the Toffees out of a sticky predicament, while at one stage facing a real fight to avoid relegation from the top tier for the first time in the club's history, survival was achieved to the detriment of any semblance of an offensive game plan. At the very minimum, that should change under Silva - which can only be good news for Sigurdsson.

During his second stint with Swansea, Sigurdsson achieved double figures in either assists or goals scored for three consecutive season, despite the club's instability. The Icelandic schemer allotted the same amount of both statistics in those three years with 27 apiece in the league alone.

His final season at the Liberty Stadium saw the midfielder in the top three of stats charts for much of the campaign coming in ahead of the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Christian Erisken.  

The four goals and assists he provided in his maiden campaign at  at Goodison Park after his £45m arrival then were not much to shout about, but with Silva at the helm now, Everton have potentially the sort of stability that could take them to the next level, with Sigurdsson as the perfect spearhead.

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Aside from Sigurdsson's biggest asset to his game in his deadeye delivery from set-pieces and an unerring ability to find a target the size of a ten pence piece, the Icelandic star will be aided by the presence of an out-and-out target man beginning to find his water wings in English football in Cenk Tosun.

Silva has always had a penchant for width and with Theo Walcott and now Richarlison in the fold on the flanks, and even in the full-back roles with the marauding Seamus Coleman and the imminent arrival of Barcelona defender Lucas Digne - as was the Swansea approach for the majority of their top-flight tenure - Sigurdsson will likely now find the greater room to operate in a central role.

The signs are promising then for somewhat of a renaissance for Sigurdsson, in pre-season at least, even if results have not been anything to write home about.

Despite Losses to Rennes, Blackburn Rovers, Porto and Lille Everton have deployed their talisman in a more out-and-out number ten in a 4-2-3-1 system, and having moved away from the stagnated tactics of Allardyce which saw Everton have the fewest number of shots of any top flight side last season, with the pace at Silva's disposal surely Sigurdsson will have the platform to prove he can cut it away from the Welsh Valleys.

For Everton boss Silva after such public wrangling to bring the Portuguese in during the past 12 months, the pressure will no doubt be on to start off firing on all cylinders as they travel to newly-promoted and fancied Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend.

The Toffees will boast a range of attacking options in not only Richarlison and Walcott, but also Yannick Bolasie. However, its is perhaps the guile of Sigurdsson that could be the the vital ingredient this season. 

Under Silva, the Icelandic may have the perfect opportunity to show Everton his full worth this term.

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