Brendan Rodgers, the Swansea manager, sang the praises of Gylfi Sigurdsson after the Icelandic midfielder struck twice to help his side record an impressive 3-0 win over a surprisingly woeful Fulham side at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Sigurdsson scored either side of half-time, a diving header followed by a cool finish, and his impact since joining in January on loan from the German club Hoffenheim drew profuse praise from his manager.
"He's a terrific boy," said Rodgers of the 22-year-old, whose goals helped Swansea leap to eighth in the Premier League with a third consecutive win. "I felt we needed a goalscorer in midfield. He's slotted in perfectly. He's a wonderful lad, he fits into our group, a player who has got a big talent. Our system and the way we play suits him."
Sigurdsson's two goals took his tally up to eight league goals and not surprisingly Rodgers feels the midfielder is blessed with a predator's instinct. "He's a goalscorer," the manager said. "Play him at right-back and he'll score. He has that instinct – that's something he's born with."
There was never a doubt in Rodgers' mind about bringing him to the Liberty Stadium, as he knew Sigurdsson from his time as manager of Reading where he scored 19 goals in 43 games. "I've worked with him before, so he knew that I knew all his qualities. I just felt he would be a really good fit for us. The most important thing is that he's helping the team."
The fact that Swansea now lie in the upper reaches of the table is a testament to Rodgers' ability to make free-flowing football pay off in terms of results, but he was happy to acknowledge his players' positive approach. "Their hunger is incredible," Rodgers enthused. "They're focused – they are not driven by money. It's a pleasure to work with them."
Fulham: SCHWARZER 6/10; KELLY 6; SENDEROS 3; HANGELAND 5; J RIISE 5; RUIZ 6; DIARRA 5; DEMBELE 6; DEMPSEY 6; JOHNSON 5; POGREBNYAK 5
Swansea: VORM 7; TAYLOR 6; MONK 7; CAULKER 6; RANGEL 6; SIGURDSSON 7; ALLEN 7; BRITTON 7; SINCLAIR 7; GRAHAM 7; ROUTLEDGE 6
Scorers: Swansea City Sigurdsson 36, 66, Allen 77.
Substitutes: Fulham Duff 6 (Ruiz, 54), Frei 7 (Johnson, 68), Murphy (Diarra, 72). Swansea Tate (Taylor, 90), Gower (Sigurdsson, 90), Moore (Graham, 90).
Man of the match Sigurdsson. Match rating 6/10.
Possession: Fulham 40% Swansea 60%.
Attempts on target: Fulham 7 Swansea 7.
Referee M Halsey (Lancashire). Attendance 25,690.
- More about: