Eidur Gudjohnsen. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
With Iceland international and longtime European club standout Eidur Gudjohnsen set to join the Seattle Sounders in training this week, we figured it would be good to ask someone who was a little more familiar with his skill set than us. Ryan Rosenblatt, the editor of the new United States soccer blog Stars and Stripes FC, is very familiar with Gudjohnsen and had this to say about the soon-to-be-34-year-old:
Eidur Gudjohnsen became a constant wanderer of late, but not because he couldn't find a home. He was good enough to settle in somewhere decent if he wanted to, but after leaving Barcelona in 2009 and joining Monaco, he was wanted by some solid clubs that needed help in the second half of the season. He went to Tottenham on loan and helped them secure a Champions League place before moving to Stoke, only for Fulham to need him to solve a crisis up front. He moved and moved, but it's because he wanted.
Back in his heyday, Gudjohnsen could really play. His versatility was incredible, with an ability to play as a striker, as an attacking midfielder or even out on the wing. You don't go from Chelsea to Barcelona and play more than 250 times for the two unless you can play.
Gudjohnsen was the elusive big man who had fantastic feet. Even if his goal numbers never wowed anyone, his play would because he held the ball up well and did exceptionally well to keep the ball for his team. He aged and he lost some of his pace, making him less of a threat out wide, but he still kept his tremendous ability to keep the ball, settle the match and bring his teammates into the play with ease. Even as recently as 2011 he was doing that with Fulham so he is not a man too far gone.
As for what Gudjonsen has left in the tank, your guess is as good as mine. He was injured early in AEK Athens' season last year when a collision left him with a fractured tibia and fibula. Is he fully recovered from that and is he the same player that he was last summer? That much I can't tell you and until someone sees him in training, I don't think anyone can, but if he is the same player that he was pre-injury then the Sounders have themselves a good one.