Ronald Koeman: Gylfi Sigurdsson to play in every game during Everton's hectic week

Gylfi Sigurdsson may be lacking in match fitness after a stop-start pre-season campaign with Swansea City but Ronald Koeman says he will have a role to play in every Everton game this week.

The Blues travel to Manchester City on Monday night before quickly jetting off to Croatia to play their second leg in the Europa League play-off round. Following the tie against Hajduk Split, Everton will have to turn around again and head to London to face Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

It’s a difficult week but a perfect week to potentially build momentum and fitness.

Speaking ahead of Everton’s trip to Manchester during an introductory press conference for the new signing, Koeman said: “He (Sigurdsson) will get time next week. We have a tough week coming up and he will be part of all the games next week.”

The Icelandic midfielder is likely to start from the bench on Monday night before possibly growing into starting roles against Hajduk and Chelsea later in the week.

Not ready for 90 minutes just yet

After only playing 45 minutes in pre-season for Swansea against Barnet, Sigurdsson isn’t quite ready to start from the off for Everton.

Speaking alongside his new boss, the midfielder said: “Maybe not 90 minutes, as you normally start with 45 in pre-season and then increase it. I’ve been training well over the last five or six weeks since I came back off holiday in early July.

“I’ve been training really well but I just need a few more minutes under my belt before I play 90 minutes.”

When questioned again about the midfielder's fitness, Koeman added: “I’m not worried about his fitness. Of course, as a player, you need game-time and need to play games in pre-season to get to 100 per cent. But his fitness is okay and he is a good professional.”

A starting chance in Split

With Everton taking a 2-0 advantage to Split, the 27-year-old playmaker may get the chance to start on Thursday night.

Koeman will likely to be looking to rotate his team whilst trying to play as strong a team as possible to secure safe passage to the Europa League group stages.