It took Gylfi Sigurdsson about four touches of the ball to make his mark.

The fact that many were calling for the Iceland international to be brought on at half time as Everton struggled to break down West Brom shows how much the perception of him has changed over the course of this term.

2019/20 was a difficult season for many at Goodison Park, but perhaps Sigurdsson suffered more than most.

From being the club's joint top scorer and one of the most influential players in the side, the playmaker often found himself further back in the side as the campaign went on and he couldn't make the desired impact in the final third.

This season, however, things have changed. Since the 31-year-old bagged his first Premier League goal of this season, in fact, against Chelsea at Goodison Park - there has been a resurgence from him.

He's chipping in with goals which is a crucial part of his game, but he's becoming a much more creative asset for the side in general play too.

No match better summed that up than his hat trick of assists against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup last month, with some fantastic passes to set up teammates around the edge of the box.

Carlo Ancelotti last season made clear that he believed Sigurdsson could do a job for him further back in the midfield, and of course the experienced player was never going to turn that down.

But, in doing so, it often took away many of the aspects Everton shelled out a club-record fee for.

Not only is Sigurdsson a danger on set pieces, but he can pick up his head on the edge of the box and can often pick out the kind of passes not many in the Blues squad can manage.

Especially with James Rodriguez out of the side, Sigurdsson's playmaking abilities have now proven themselves crucial in the last two matches.

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His deft pass in behind the Southampton defence was perfect for Richarlison to run onto and finish, but this assist was arguably just a little bit better.

Sigurdsson had only just been brought onto the pitch and could have been forgiven for being a bit cold into the game as his first kick, a corner into the box, came back off the first man.

But after that he looked up, saw Richarlison, and picked out an incredibly precise cross to give Everton an all-important lead in a match that looked like it could have been slipping beyond them.

That kind of thing didn't happen too often last season, but the signs of this were clear right at the beginning of this campaign - in moments that don't even count towards his impressive stats.

Against Salford City not only did Sigurdsson score, but his fantastic cross into the box in the second half should have been converted by Moise Kean to bolster his assist statistics even further.

In the reverse fixture against West Brom at Goodison Park, the Iceland international could have had another assist as his inch-perfect cross was converted by Richarlison - only for the Brazilian to be flagged offside.

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Even without those moments, Sigurdsson now finds himself on six goals and nine assists from 32 appearances this season.

That could be down to a number of factors, not least the creative responsibility being shared around numerous players now, but the improvement that the 31-year-old has shown over recent weeks and months cannot be understated.

After a difficult term in 2019/20, this is much more like the output and influence Everton want to see from their club-record signing.

Whether he's in the starting 11 or on the bench, he's starting to become a game-changer for this side again.