Monday 23 October 2017

Spurs stronger than Liverpool -- Sigurdsson

Jason Burt

Gylfi Sigurdsson explained yesterday that he chose to join Tottenham Hotspur instead of Liverpool because he believes they have a stronger team with a greater chance of winning trophies.

"There's nothing wrong with Liverpool but there's everything right about Tottenham," said the Icelandic midfielder, who signed for £8m, a fee that was also agreed with Liverpool.

"Look at where Spurs have finished in the last few years, compared to Liverpool, and look at the squad here. It's a fantastic team, and with the new training ground, the possibility of a new stadium, it's exciting times."

Sigurdsson angered Liverpool's new manager Brendan Rodgers by rejecting the offer to follow him from Swansea City, where the 22-year-old was on loan last season, to Anfield. Rodgers even claimed that Sigurdsson's wage demands had been too high, although he admitted he had not offered him any more money to go to Liverpool.

But the midfielder rejected the suggestion that it was a financial decision and explained: "I spoke to Brendan briefly. Obviously I owe him a lot for what he did for me at Reading and bringing me back to England from Hoffenheim with Swansea.

"But it's a new era for me. Spurs are a fantastic club, a club with a lot of additions, with players who are world-class.

"They finished fourth in the league last season, fifth the year before and were in the Champions League -- and this team are more than capable of being in the Champions League again."

Swansea, under Rodgers, also tried to negotiate a deal for Sigurdsson, who scored seven goals, plus three assists, in his 19 Premier League games last season.

But Rodgers' departure, and the interest from other clubs, changed things.

"It's hard to say whether I would have stayed at Swansea had Brendan Rodgers remained there," the player explained.

"I think everyone then expected me to follow Brendan. But I'm very happy with the decision and feel privileged to be playing for Tottenham."

And the club's new head coach, Andre Villas-Boas.

Speaking at the launch of Tottenham's new kit, Villas-Boas' first signing added: "I spoke to only a couple of clubs seriously and after Tottenham hired their new manager and I had spoken to him, I was more than happy to come here.

"If you look at Villas-Boas's record at Porto, it's unbelievable. He won the Europa League and obviously it didn't work out at Chelsea but he's still a fantastic manager. All of the boys in the first week in training have been very happy with him and his sessions and his ambitions. Training has been very lively and he gets involved a lot."

Indeed Sigurdsson, and the rest of the Spurs squad, have already shrugged off what happened to Villas-Boas at Chelsea, where he was sacked last March after just eight months in charge.

"There have been many great managers who have gone to Chelsea and it hasn't worked out for them," Sigurdsson said.

Determined

"It's probably one of the hardest jobs in the world. When things don't go right, you are in trouble, but he's more than determined to do well with Tottenham.

"He said to us straightaway that the squad is more than good enough to compete for titles and do well in the league and the Europa League. And we want to do well in the Premier League and FA Cup. Of course, I think we can do well. Otherwise I wouldn't have come here."

Spurs also have a strong support in Iceland, with Sigurdsson following on from compatriot Gudni Bergsson, who played for the club between 1988 and 1994.

In terms of his goalscoring style of play, his role model is more contemporary.

"I think I model myself on Frank Lampard," Sigurdsson said. "He's a midfielder with a fantastic record. I like to get forward and score goals. If I can help the team by doing that, I'll be happy." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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