Victor Wanyama has been in the spotlight of Kenyan football for a long time. Famously making his debut at just 15, he has now a dozen years in the national team under his belt, as well as over 300 games at club level.
However, as Wanyama is about to turn 28 this week, it might be time for the Kenyan captain to start weighing up his options. Yes, he is well regarded by Tottenham Hotspur’s management, but he made just 13 league appearances in 2018/19 and 18 the previous season.
Indeed, while Wanyama tends to have a warm relationship with the fans, a poll carried out by football.london had Wanyama right down towards the bottom in terms of fans wanting to keep the player, with only 17.5% voting for the Kenyan.
Such surveys should be treated with some scepticism, but it’s nevertheless a sign that Wanyama’s perceived importance at Spurs is waning. Football can be an unforgiving world, and the trouble with Wanyama’s knees over the past couple of seasons may have stalled his progress with the club.
Spurs Must Spend to Compete
Don’t expect Mauricio Pochettino to take a gamble on those knees either. Despite reaching the Champions League Final last season (Wanyama was an unused substitute), Spurs are regarded as a considerable distance behind Liverpool and Manchester City when it comes to challenging for the Premier League.
This has been borne out in the latest title odds: Going through a list of the UK’s most trusted betting sites, Spurs can be found as big as 18/1 (Blacktype) for the title and no lower than 12/1 (SkyBet). Compare that to the odds of Manchester City (4/6) and Liverpool (9/4, Bet365). Indeed, the margins for the Top 4 are fine, with Spurs generally trading around 8/11 for that.
Indeed, they are cited at 20/1 for the Champions League, and one would expect that they have to spend a lot of money to really kick on to the next level. “If we believe that if we operate in the same way that we have operated in the last five years….I think we are very naïve.” Said Pochettino, referencing Spurs’ need for signings this summer. If Pochettino gets his way, don’t be surprised to see a defensive midfielder arriving.
Wanyama Was Tipped to Leave in January
Back in January, Wanyama was heavily tipped to leave North London. Spurs were vocal about their desire to keep him, but his agent, Ivan Modia Yanez, suggested it was a possibility in the summer. Roma have been heavily linked with the player, but the options in England and are parts of Europe would be huge for a player of Wanyama’s quality.
Of course, there is always the chance the midfielder stays at the club. When fit, the Kenyan is a weapon in Spurs’ midfield. If you look back, for example, at the 4-0 thrashing of Huddersfield in the April, you will see a display of Wanyama at his finest: Superb, combative, energetic and clever play. The sort of performance Spurs fans might end up missing if Wanyama says goodbye to the club.