Could a number of Premier League sides be casting admiring glances at Celtic Park, and the solution to many of their problems?
There is a position on the football field that is fast-becoming the equivalent of the Holy Grail. It used to be the 25-goal striker, and perhaps for some it still is. But in recent seasons a different type of player has shot to the top of many clubs’ wish-lists.
That player is the defensive midfielder. With one in particular on the radar of many a Premier League side.
I don’t want to regurgitate old news. But Victor Wanyama has a lot of admirers, perhaps even more than we yet know.
And I don’t mean in the same way as Robert Lewandowski or Radamel Falcao – of course any of England’s top sides would want either of those.
I mean in the way that the 21-year-old could solve a glaring problem for many of the Premier League elite.
It could be argued that United haven’t had a solid defensive midfielder since Roy Keane (although Owen Hargreaves shone in his one fully-fit season). And while there was talk of a January move similar to that which will ultimately bring Wilfried Zaha to Old Trafford, the Kenyan remained at Celtic Park.
Similarly Arsenal will be seeking a defensive midfielder to replace the long-since-departed Alex Song and the rarely fit Abou Diaby.
And don’t discount Manchester City, Chelsea or Liverpool for that matter. All of them would benefit from adding Wanyama to their side.
At just 21, and coming to the end of his current contract, he has already dismissed the notion of an imminent move.
“I’m happy at Celtic,” he said last month. “I love it here. I’ll be here next season.”
Rarely has a footballer been more emphatic. But that won’t stop him being wanted. And it will be interesting to see if clubs move on, or wait until the following summer when he may then decide to leave Celtic Park.
Patience may ultimately reward one club with an outstanding talent; one with years still to improve. Or perhaps a large enough offer will tempt the club into reluctant acceptance this summer.
With the likely departure of Gary Hooper, it seems Wanyama will indeed stay at least one more season. Perhaps in that time he can iron out the one kink in his armoury – his habit of picking up bookings.
And then the man who may well disappoint his many suitors this year could make one very happy the next.
Where will Wanyama ultimately end up? And which club would benefit most from his services?
image: © celticphotos