Nairobi News

Sports

Wanyama’s fate sealed as Spurs coach insists he won’t play him for ‘charity’

Victor Wanyama’s fate at Tottenham Hotspur appears sealed after manager Mauricio Pochettino said he will not accord him playtime because the club is not a ‘charity’.

Wanyama has not featured for the club this season and has consistently been linked with a move away from the London club before the end of this year’s transfer window on September 2.

PAST HIS BEST

Pochettino also appeared to suggest Wanyama is way past his best.

“Victor is a very important player and for different circumstances went backwards. That is the evolution of football and things that happen naturally in all the clubs,” Pochettino said.

“If I don’t play someone it is because I believe there is another in my opinion that is better,” the Argentine manager further explained.

Pochettino’s views notwithstanding, a number of clubs have expressed interest in the Haramabee Stars skipper, the latest being Belgian top side Club Brugge.

Family sources, who spoke to Nairobi News off record, hinted that Wanyama’s transfer to the Belgian side is ‘70%’ done.

IMPRESSIVE START

The transfer fee payable to Tottenham in exchange for the 28-year-old’s services is reportedly in the region of Sh1 billion upfront.

An additional Sh500 million could also be paid to the English club, depending on the number of appearances and the level of success Wanyama contributes for the club achieve on the pitch, especially in the UEFA Champions League during the course of his contract.

This amount represents a record transfer fee in Kenyan football circles and goes on to show the importance of the Kenyan government, Football Kenya Federation and other stakeholders investing in the youth through sports.

Wanyama joined Spurs from Southampton in 2016 but after an impressive start to his career in England, he has gradually slipped down the pecking order in his favourite defensive midfield position.

He is yet to start a match in the English Premier League this season.

INJURIES

Wanyama’s absence has mostly been attributed to the consistent niggling injuries and fitness issues which have resulted in him missing about half of the club’s competitive matches in the past two seasons.

This is perhaps the reason Tottenham splashed out Sh10 billion in transfer fees to sign Tanguy Ndombele in July, and the Frenchman has since been preferred ahead of Wanyama in all matches.

English clubs West Ham and Wolves, Turkish clubs Fenerbahce and Galatasaray an an unnamed French club have similarly expressed interest in signing Wanyama, but it now appears Brugge are in the driving seat for the 28-year-old’s signature.

A return to Brugge, which finished second behind Racing Genk in Belgium’s top-flight league last season, will represent a comeback of some sorts for Wanyama, who received his football education at the defunct Germinal Beerschort between 2008 and 2011.