The transfer saga involving Swansea City midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson continues to rumble on, with rumours, counter-rumours and counter-counter-rumours dominating the news for the last few months for Swansea and Everton fans. Blurrt decided to take a look at the social media conversation and see what the fans have been saying about the protracted negotiations.
In case you’ve been avoiding this story, Sigurdsson has been linked with a big-money transfer from Swansea to Everton this summer, as Ronald Koeman continues to build a squad which he hopes can push for Champions League qualification and go deep in the Europa League too. With some cracking young talents like Tom Davies coming through to the first team and a few new faces (and one very famous old one) arriving at Goodison Park there is a real sense of positivity around the Toffees as the new season approaches. With a rumoured £50m fee quoted for Sigurdsson and a likely move away for Ross Barkley, there could be a few more rotations of the revolving door at their Finch Farm training ground before the window shuts at the end of the month.
So that’s the story that you can find on the sporting news beat, but what of the fan conversation?
Over the last week we’ve been tracking all the conversation surrounding the Icelandic star and the results provide interesting reading. 12,751 posts were collected, one of the highest volumes for a player not involved in one of the prestige friendlies (Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup) and the second highest volume for a player rumoured to be on the move, behind the much-discussed Coutinho story. With Sigurdsson seemingly set for the Swansea exit, you would expect fans to be excited on the Everton side and frustrated on the Swansea side, but do the stats bear that out?
Overall the sentiment split was 14% positive sentiment to 14% negative sentiment, presumably standing up to the suggestion that fans of both sets of clubs have polarising views on the transfer. If we use our “tribes” filters to go further into the data, however, we see a surprising result. Everton fans are more negative about the move, with 19% negative to 13% positive sentiment, with around 33% of emotion-bearing posts displaying anger. Fans like @jackefc95 summed up the general frustration at the delay in pushing the transfer through, tweeting:
On a more fun note, @colormeimpressed took a light-hearted approach to the delay, framing his concerns alongside the most pressing issues of the day:
Swansea fans took a similar attitude to the Everton fans, with 14% positive and 18% negative sentiment registered. Anger made up a far greater proportion of the tweets which registered a specific emotional response, with 53% of Swansea fans demonstrating their annoyance at the transfer. @swanseacitylive seemed to capture the mood perfectly, tweeting:
The general feeling of fans of both teams on twitter seems to be that this is one story that just needs to hurry up and be resolved. Swansea fans are frustrated that they seem unable to shift Gylfi, in order to bring more money and players in, whilst Everton fans are frustrated the deal is taking so long. There’s also a sense among Everton fans that Sigurdsson isn’t the answer to their problems, with many feeling that losing Romelu Lukaku should have made a new striker the key target.
To finish, we wanted to demonstrate just how global the Premier League has become with a map showing where in the world people are talking about Gylfi Sigurdsson. From a promising Icelandic talent to a world star, the conversation around the Swansea midfielder shows just how brightly his star currently shines, but for the sake of loyal Swans and Toffees it is about time this particular transfer saga was brought to a conclusion.
With the season fast approaching, keep an eye on the Blurrt Blog as we focus on the missed stories, the intriguing fan opinions and the stand-out players on social as the Premier League returns and the twitterati return from political keyboard bashing to the magical world of sport.