It was January 15th 2012, and one of Swansea City’s most significant wins in recent times.

Brendan Rodgers and co had already defied the pundits with a string of accomplished Premiership displays, but it was a thrilling 3-2 home win over Arsenal that finally convinced the masses the Swans were in the big time to stay.

The victory brought about mass hysteria in the media, with Danny Graham, Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer and Leon Britton all suddenly ear marked for international call ups that never materialised.

But ironically, one of the figures instrumental in turning the game that Sunday afternoon went largely unnoticed.

Gylfi Sigurdsson had arrived at the Liberty Stadium that month on a loan deal from 1899 Hoffenheim.

Prior to his spell in Germany, the Icelandic international had previously spent two seasons at Reading, showing flashes of potential in the Championship after loan spells at Shrewsbury at Crewe.

However, the then 22-year-old came to Swansea unknown and untried in England’s top flight.

Against Arsenal, he was brought on at half time and went on to create the winner for Graham – which proved only a snippet of the quality he was to produce in the subsequent games that followed.

Sigurdsson proved instrumental in the club’s unlikely 11th placed finish, scoring seven times in 18 games and providing a cutting edge that helped banish the notion that Rodgers’ side were one dimensional with their passing style.

Sadly for the Swans, as Sigurdsson rose to prominence, so did the clamour for his permanent signature, and he signed for Spurs for £8.8 million that summer after declining the chance to go with Rodgers to Liverpool.

Had he opted for the latter, his career may have taken a different path, especially with his former manager’s now established reputation for getting the best out of individuals.

Instead, after two years of being badly mismanaged at White Hart Lane, frequently employed as a left winger and rarely given the chance to exert the influence he did during his first spell in Swansea, he returned to the Liberty this July as part of the deal that saw Ben Davies move the other way.

Amidst a busy summer of comings and goings in south Wales – it was the re-capturing of Sigurdsson that was the most pivotal piece of business for Garry Monk.

He has immediately picked up from where he left off from the latter stages of that 2011/2012 campaign, scoring the winner at Old Trafford and providing three assists during the home wins over Burnley and West Brom.

But the Icelander has been about more than just stats.

Shelvey, Ki-sung yueng and the currently injured Leon Britton all bring different qualities to the centre of the Swansea midfield – but it is Sigurdsson’s composure under pressure, and ability to unlock defences, that has provided an ‘X factor’ that Monk’s men badly missed last season.

At just 24, he can only improve, and if the Swans are to continue to defy the scepticism of pundits who predicted them to struggle so badly this season – then expect the instrumental Sigurdsson to be at the heart of their success.