Spurs star merits place in Villas-Boas' new midfield order

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Football News

With Gareth Bale's world-record departure to La Liga giants Real Madrid imminent, Tottenham and popular Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas acted commendably quickly to bolster their squad in order to speedily fill the inevitable void left by the loss of their most prize asset.

In particular, the North London outfit were evidently intent on significantly bolstering their midfield and subsequently completed deals to sign Frenchman Etienne Capoue, Brazilian star Paulinho, impressive Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen - who was signed for a staggeringly-low fee of approximately £11.5 million - and attacking starlet Erik Lamela.

With Villas-Boas having considerably upgraded his midfield options, many expected one or two of Spurs' current players to suffer a notable reduction in playing time as an inevitable consequence. 

Along with Lewis Holtby, Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson was a player predicted by many to perhaps permanently lose his place due to the increase in competition at White Hart Lane. 

After struggling to truly impose himself on a consistent basis at Spurs in his first season following his arrival for a reported fee of £8 million from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim last summer, fans could perhaps be forgiven for adopting a somewhat harsh attitude towards Sigurdsson following the raft of new arrivals.

However these rather gloomy predictions are yet to prove true, with the former Reading academy graduate proving his worth with a succession of impressive attacking performances.

Indeed, the gifted 24-year-old has started all but two of Spurs' top-flight fixtures so far this season and has proved his considerable worth with three goals - the last of which coming with an exquisite finish in the hotly-contested London derby against rivals Chelsea.

At last, it would appear as if the Icelandic international is finally showing the Premier League just why he was the subject of a rather protracted three-way transfer wrangle between Swansea, Spurs and Liverpool following an impressive loan spell with the former during the final months of the 2011/12 campaign.

More encouragingly for Villas-Boas, rather than be intimidated by the star caliber of many of his new teammates, Sigurdsson would appear to be relishing the challenge of complimenting them with his own formidable skill set.

This has been made abundantly clear by the midfielder's recent efforts in front of goal. In the routine victory against Chris Hughton's Norwich at White Hart Lane - in which Sigurdsson earned plaudits for a stunning brace - he was the obvious beneficiary of the fearsome guile and vision possessed by 21-year-old Eriksen. 

Likewise in the eventful draw with Chelsea last weekend, Sigurdsson was intelligent enough to foresee Eriksen's fine footwork and simple ball to fellow newcomer Roberto Soldado and his reading of the game was nothing short of impeccable as he raced clear of John Terry to collect the knockdown and slot expertly past the despairing dive of Petr Cech.

Despite many people holding and voicing lowly expectations of Sigurdsson prior to the start of the latest campaign, his ability and excellent recent form suggests he should not just be just discarded in favour of Spurs' potential new combinations. Rather, the Icelandic star fully merits his spot in Villas-Boas' new midfield order and looks to be flourishing under the pressure.

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Premier League
Gylfi Sigurdsson
Tottenham Hotspur

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