McDermott: Sigurdsson leaving Reading FC broke my heartBy Jonny Fordham
September 14, 2012
Brian McDermott has confessed that he was left heart-broken when Gylfi Sigurdsson left Reading for a club record £7million in 2010.
The Iceland international will make his first playing return to Madejski Stadium in three years with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (live on Sky Sports 1, 4pm kick-off).
Attacking midfielder Sigurdsson scored 20 goals in his debut season with Royals, helping them reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 83 years before joining German Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.
“The deal was a good one for us but I remember at the time, personally, it broke my heart to see him walk out the door,” said McDermott, who supported Spurs as a youngster before signing for Arsenal.
“Gylfi is such a good guy and we have great relationships with Gylfi and his family. To see him do as well as he has makes us all proud.
“It’s my gut feeling that he never overly wanted to leave. It was the right thing for him financially and the club needed that money at the time.”
Sigurdsson spent the second half of last season on loan at Swansea before joining Spurs from Hoffenheim this summer.
McDermott’s opposite number Andre Villas-Boas is already under fire having failed to guide Spurs to victory in their opening three Premier League games – but Royals are also looking to register their first three points.
“I texted him good-luck when he got the job and said he had just signed a top player in Gylfi,” said McDermott, who counts Villas-Boas as a friend after first meeting him during their scouting days.
“He came back to me saying how much he was looking forward to it and Spurs was a great club.”
It will be 25 days since Reading last played a league game by the time they kick off against Spurs.
And McDermott said: “We’ve played two Premier League games and by the time we’ve played our third on Sunday, everyone else apart from Sunderland will have played four.
“We just want a game – and what a terrific game to be involved in.”