Victor Wanyama set for Southampton move
Southampton are edging ever closer to completing the signing of twenty two year old Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama from Celtic after it was revealed the player is in England today ahead of his scheduled medical with the Saints tomorrow. It was thought that Wanyama who was initially unkeen on a move to Southampton was holding out for an opportunity to join either Arsenal or Manchester United who had both been interested in the past, however once it became clear bids were not going to come the midfielder has agreed to join Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Victor Wanyama has enjoyed a fantastically positive spell in the two seasons he has spent at Celtic Park following his move from Belgian football in 2011 and has impressed particularly over the past twelve months courtesy of his performances for Celtic in the Champions League with the Kenyan midfielder having a huge impact in matches against Barcelona. Wanyama is known for his significant power to force his way through an opposition’s midfield as well as a keen eye for a tackle which is something Southampton will eagerly welcome to complement the less combative styles of Adam Lallana and James Ward-Prowse.
It was believed that Southampton’s initial interest in the player had cooled following a discussion regarding the player’s desired personal terms however it is believed this has been worked through and the player should officially sign by the end of the week with Sky Sports’ Spanish football correspondent Graham Hunter stating Wanyama was in England ahead of a medical with Southampton tomorrow, “Okay, the Victor #Wanyama situation is that he is in England today, deal with Southampton is v advanced but no medical today don’t think… Should be #Wanyama medical tomorrow with #Southampton.”
The fee agreed between Southampton and Celtic for Wanyama is thought to be around the £13million mark with Southampton continuing their recent trend of spending significant amounts of money to entice big name players such as Gaston Ramirez to the club, which is particularly impressive when you consider last season was their first back in the Premier League following a considerable spell in the lower Leagues.
Mauricio Pochettino illustrated his managerial style and ability in the short spell he had in charge of Southampton last season following Nigel Adkins’ dismissal and by the end of the season we saw the Saints playing a very expansive style of football which revolved around quick movement and short, crisp passes which whilst wasn’t too different to Nigel Adkins’ style, did also incorporate a pressing game when off the ball which Adkins hadn’t brought to the team’s tactics. The addition of Wanyama will only further improve this with the Kenyan possessing the power and the speed across short distances to work within a pressing game effectively.
According to Sky Sports, newly promoted Cardiff City were also interested in Wanyama and were potentially willing to meet Celtic’s £13million evaluation however have been left ’empty handed’ in their pursuit of the Kenyan international.
With Wanyama improving at a very quick rate following his move to Scotland from Beerschot AC, it may well be the case that Manchester United and Arsenal will wait to see how he adapts to the Premier League with Southampton before deciding whether or not he has improved enough to be of the required quality for their club’s in the future. What we can be sure of however is that Southampton for however long it may be, are getting a highly talented midfield player who has shown he can cut it at the highest level.
Written by Chris Winterburn
Follow Chris Winterburn on Twitter @Chriswin4