We know from his stellar performance in early 2012, plus his strong showing last season, that Gylfi Sigurdsson can be Fantasy Premier League gold when he is in a Swansea City shirt. However, the shine came off the Icelandic international earlier this season.
As usual when charting player data, I’ve separated penalty kick data from the regular data because of the substantially higher conversion rate from the spot.
Like his team, Sigurdsson had a bright start in the opening few weeks of this season, even though his sole attacking return at that stage was an assist in Gameweek 4. The following week he failed to register a single shot or create a single opportunity and his output stagnated, apart from one converted penalty against Southampton in Gameweek 7 and a long range strike against Aston Villa in Gameweek 10.
The former Tottenham Hotspur player’s creativity began to flicker back into life in Gameweek 12 and he rediscovered his shooting boots in Gameweek 15. However, it came too late to save former Swans boss Gary Monk, who was sacked after the 3-0 loss to Leicester City that week. Under replacement manager Alan Curtis, Sigurdsson’s underlying statistics have begun to glow again and he finally delivered another goal last week.
Despite hitting 14 shots on target, excluding the penalty, Sigurdsson’s two goal return is not a huge surprise given he spent much of the season shooting from outside the penalty area, where conversion rates are lower.
However, over the last six gameweeks, he has not only been creating chances and shooting more frequently, but also taking a greater proportion of his shots from closer range. In those six gameweeks he has created half of his chances for team mates, 43 per cent of his shots, two-thirds of his shots in the box and 57 per cent of his shots on target (all shooting statistics exclude the penalty).
As a result, the poor 34 per cent of shots being taken in the box this season – as shown in the chart – is a healthier 53 per cent over the last six weeks. If Sigurdsson can keep this up, more attacking returns are surely not far away.