No player was involved in more goals for Everton last season than Gylfi Sigurdsson, but could the Iceland international have a different role next season?
Some Toffees supporters on Reddit have been discussing what the future holds for the £30.5million-rated midfielder, as Marco Silva could look to change how the squad line-up at Goodison Park by moving away from his traditional 4-2-3-1.
The staggered four-tier formation has been the Portuguese head coach’s preferred system throughout his managerial career, and one that he worked on implementing throughout his debut season at the Goodison Park helm.
In fact, Silva only deviated from a 4-2-3-1 set-up eight times across the entire Premier League calendar, with the 42-year-old sporadically adopting a 4-4-1-1, 3-4-2-1, 4-1-4-1 and 5-4-1 at kick-off depending on who was to hand during his first term with the club.
Fans on Reddit, though, have been discussing if a move to a 4-3-3 would impact Sigurdsson’s game, and, if so, to what affect would it change how the key midfielder serves the club after scoring 13 goals and assisting a further six in the recent term.
The 29-year-old featured in all 38 of our top-flight fixtures, with 33 of his outings coming in an attacking midfield role. In the speculated 4-3-3, however, there would not be a central attacking role in midfield for the 68-cap international to occupy.
Instead, he would need to drop back in line with Andre Gomes, as the pair would work in tandem ahead of a single defensive midfielder rather than the two used before.
Sigurdsson has played in this role previously in his career, as Garry Monk initially favoured the system before he adopted a 4-2-3-1 at Swansea. Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley, meanwhile, entrusted their Swans sides to work in a variety of formations, but it was switching to a 4-3-3 which brought about the results that rubber-stamped their departures from the Liberty Stadium.
Silva, on the other hand, has dabbled with a 4-3-3 throughout his career, but last used the system frequently when in charge of Sporting CP in the 2014/15 season. Since then, he has predominantly focused his work around a 4-2-3-1 shape.
Unlike the speculated 4-3-3 discussed on Reddit, Silva did use an attacking variation of the set-up when in charge of Sporting, and occasionally used the system when in charge of Watford. His use of the formation with the Hornets, though, saw the Portuguese suffer devastating defeats to Manchester City, with the Sky Blues hitting three and six past them during the 2017/18 season.
Moving to a 4-3-3 next season, then, could be a big change for Everton, and potentially Sigurdsson.
Here’s what these Blues fans have shared on Reddit…