For a while it looked as if Gylfi Sigurdsson (£3.1m) would be sparingly used by Carlo Ancelotti until he eventually left Everton for pastures new — let’s say, Brighton.
The Italian tactician had three shiny new midfield toys gifted to him in the summer in the form of Allan (£1.2m), Abdoulaye Doucoure (£1.9m) and, shiniest of all, James Rodriguez (£3.5m).
The Toffees’ revolutionised midfield didn’t seem to leave much room for a 31-year-old Icelandic playmaker who occasionally runs like he’s towing heavy cargo.
But as the season has progressed Ancelotti has reverted to his experienced No10, partly down to necessity because of injuries but also because of what Sigurdsson offers.
SIGN-UP TO DREAM TEAM SELECTOR BEFORE THIS WEEKEND — £25,000 PRIZE POT GROWS WITH EVERY ENTRY
Granted, he’s not the most mobile of midfielders and he is prone to a frustrating showing every now and then, but he strikes a ball well and isn’t shy of testing the opposition keeper’s concentration.
No Everton player has featured in more league games this season, although nine of Sigurdsson’s appearances have been as a substitute.
Most recently he was found slotting a penalty to confirm Everton’s first win at Anfield since 1999.
So how has Sigurdsson fared in Dream Team this season?
31 points in his last five games has taken him to within touching distance of the top ten midfielders with a total of 92.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£4.6m) and Richarlison (£3.5m) are the only Everton players with more points at this stage and the Brazilian holds an advantage of just one point.
Sigurdsson has an ownership of just 1% and with favourable upcoming fixtures – Everton play Southampton, West Brom and Burnley in three of their next four league games – he’s not the worst short-term option, especially as relatively reliable penalty-taker.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that Sigurdsson is outperforming Rodriguez despite the Colombian featuring in the top ten most popular midfielders.