Strong, intelligent and composed; Victor Wanyama is unarguably one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. His career path led him to White Hart Lane and he’s established himself as a key member of Tottenham Hotspur’s golden generation.
The physically imposing Kenyan midfielder is perceived as a frightening prospect by his fellow Premier League opponents. Renowned for his defensive mentality during his spells at Celtic and Southampton, Wanyama became a valuable offensive threat under Mauricio Pochettino last season.
He contributed five goals in 47 appearances in all competitions during his debut season at White Hart Lane. His partnership with England international Eric Dier proved pivotal to guaranteeing Champions League qualification for Tottenham Hotspur.
Occasionally starting with a back-three, Wanyama formed an effective barrier ahead of Tottenham’s sturdy defence. When playing with a back-four, Dier and Wanyama complimented each other with their contrasting styles.
Wanyama would consistently break up the play with full-blooded challenges, whereas Dier would make conservative and intelligent interceptions. Both very efficient on the ball, they played a key role in triggering dangerous attacks for Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane.
In the modern age of colossal transfer fees, Victor Wanyama’s £11 million transfer from Southampton to Tottenham last summer is perceived as an absolute bargain. Especially considering the combined amount of £103 million spent on Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lamela, Paulinho and Roberto Soldado in the past four seasons.
Some may question his discipline but it’s of his nature and is something which is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. He’s a nightmare for gangly, creative and imaginative midfielders to play against and his disciplinary record installs fear in the back of his opponent’s minds.
At the only 26-years-old, the future of Victor Wanyama is glistening very brightly. Whether he’ll settle down at Tottenham Hotspur is yet to be seen but the skies are the limits for Wanyama.
Former Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has assembled an incredibly strong team since joining Tottenham Hotspur in July 2014. Yet to win a trophy, the Argentine is heading in the right direction and Wanyama’s impact could provide decisive in their pursuit to seek silverware.
Statistics Back Wanyama’s Progress
The statistics read very nicely for Victor Wanyama in his debut season at White Hart Lane. He averaged 2.5 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 1.9 blocks per game in the Premier League last season.
Only Eric Dier played more minutes (3045) than Victor Wanyama (3016) in the Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur last term. He also made the second-most tackles and committed the most fouls per game.
In terms of his offensive play, he achieved a better passing percentage than Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli. He also completed the same amount of dribbles than Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Son Heung-Min on average per game.
Surprisingly, Wanyama scored four goals from a deep-lying midfield role compared to only one goal from a more advanced midfield position. This is great evidence of his balance, to spring defence into attack.
His remarkable improvement in form is also statistically evident since swapping Southampton for Tottenham. He achieved a greater passing percentage last season than in any of his three seasons at St Marys.
Another indication of his offensive improvement is that of his improving goal scoring record. Last season, Wanyama accumulated more goals (5) than during his three seasons at Southampton (4).
Wanyama also recorded more key passes, dribbles and shots per game last term than in any season at Southampton. He failed to score a headed goal with the saints but converted with his head on 3 occasions in the Premier League at Tottenham.
(Source of Statistics – WhoScored & ESPNFC)
Could Victor Wanyama achieve success with Tottenham Hotspur?
Tottenham Hotspur missed out on the Premier League title yet again with Chelsea beating them to the post by seven points. They scored the most and conceded the least goals last term but too many draws cost them.
They lack depth and incoming players are a must to improve the squad, especially considering they’ll be competing in the Champions League again next season. Spurs have some promising stars emerging from the youth ranks.
Josh Onomah, who is 20-year-old midfielder, won the under-20 World Cup with England in South Korea this summer. He was arguably one of the most outstanding players for the three lions and is likely to enjoy more playing time during the 2017/18 season.
Unfortunately, the lilywhites will be playing their Premier League home games at Wembley Stadium next season. The “curse of Wembley” led them to elimination in the group stages of the Champions League last year.
Tottenham lost two of their three fixtures at Wembley in Europe, winning their final group match against CSKA Moscow. They will have to record points early to ensure they can make Wembley home for next season.
Mauricio Pochettino will also have the task of tempting a selection of his star players to stay at the club. Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Eric Dier have all been linked with moves elsewhere. For me, next season is going to be an incredibly tough season for Tottenham but the Premier League is full of surprises.
Victor Wanyama seems to be content with Spurs and they are likely to attract talented players due to Champions League qualification. The truth will be revealed next season but it’ll be a wasted opportunity if their golden generation fail to achieve success!