A player who sat on the bench during Europe’s ultimate club game in 2019 has joined Montreal Impact as its latest designated player.
Twenty-eight year-old Kenyan national team captain Victor Wanyama was in Tottenham’s match day twenty-three for last season’s European showpiece finale in the Champions League.
The former Celtic and Southampton midfielder played only four times this season for Spurs, for whom he made 97 appearances across four seasons, scoring 7 goals.
Since making his international debut aged 15 for the Kenyan national team against Nigeria, Wanyama has gone on to record several highs in a notable career. He became the first Kenyan to play in both the Scottish and English Premier Leagues, won two championships and one Scottish Cup with Celtic and scored the first goal in the club’s 2-1 Champions League win over mighty Barcelona in 2012/13, the season in which he was a nominee for Scottish Young Player of the Year, but didn’t win.
Throughout his career Wanyama has moved three times for fees totalling 24.4m pounds sterling, before signing for Montreal Impact.
He’s been somewhat plagued by knee injuries since first having problems in a match against Chelsea in 2017. More knee problems emerged in a pre-season game for Spurs against Barcelona in 2018.
With his influence at Tottenham on the wane, the club and Belgian Championship runners-up, Club Bruggge agreed a 13 million pound deal in August 2019, which fell through due to the player having concerns about the move.
Victor Wanyama didn’t need asking twice when the approach came from Montreal Impact and Thierry Henry...
“When I spoke to Thierry [Henri] and he asked me to come and join him in Montreal, I didn’t think about it twice.
“I have always admired him as a player and I am happy to have the opportunity to work with him and play a role so that the Montreal Impact can achieve its objectives in the championships and have a great season.“
In Wanyama, Montreal Impact has acquired a quality defensive midfielder, capable of playing in central defence, provided he stays injury-free and retains a zest for the game.
It does makes you wonder however about the role Thierry Henry has in mind for Samuel Piette and going forward. Wanyama is likely to prefer the deep, defensive midfield role normally occupied for the Impact by Piette. It will be interesting to see how these two players are deployed by the French coach. Unless Wanyama is used in a more advanced role, unlikely in my opinion, it’s difficult to see that both players will perform in the same Impact line-up.
Still only 28, Wanyama joins Montreal on a free transfer, the second player acquired from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in less than a month after 18 year-old Luis Binks found his way to Montreal from the London club’s u23 set-up.