“The lion in Victor has gone,” – a source told The Athletic about the man who used to be the king of the pride in Tottenham’s midfield.
Victor Wanyama’s decline at Spurs has been overlooked by the headline-grabbing tales of Danny Rose, Christian Eriksen and now Jan Vertonghen, but the Kenyan international’s story is arguably the saddest of the lot.
Wanyama was second only to N’Golo Kante as the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League in 2016-17, when Spurs were also second to Kante’s Chelsea. Now he is being rejected by the support cast of European football.
The Athletic understands that the likes of Club Brugge, Fiorentina, Lazio, Celtic and Amiens have all been interested in signing Wanyama over the last 12 months but have either looked elsewhere or come up cash short.
The transfer windows in Russia and China remain open but Wanyama will stay at Spurs and resolve his future in the summer, when he will only have one year left on his contract with the club, according to The Athletic.
It is not a fall from grace where ego, or greed, or attitude are to blame, but rather a dehabilitating knee injury which has left the 28-year-old a shadow of his former self, unable to dominate and intimidate opponents with his physical presence, unable to keep up with increasingly mobile midfielders.
Peak Wanyama would fit in brilliantly in Jose Mourinho’s Spurs midfield, complementing the creativity of Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele.
Charlie Eccleshare said it best in his piece: “It feels like the sad fizzling-out of a[nother] Tottenham career that undoubtedly peaked a few years ago.”