The curious case of Victor Wanyama

After all the talking up and the talking down, highly-rated defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama moves from Celtic to Southampton for a reported fee of £12.5 million.

Beginning at the beginning, the Kenyan signed for Neil Lennon’s Celtic in 2011 for just £900,000 from Beerschot AC in Belgium. The 22-year-old made a name for himself this term with some impressive displays, most notably in the Champions League with the Scottish champions, and by January this year he was being talked up as the next big mover to the English Premier League.

According to reports in January, Sir Alex Ferguson wanted him at Old Trafford along with Arsene Wenger who wanted him at the Emirates. His manager at Parkhead insisted he was not for sale but if he were, he would be worth £25 million.

He refused to sign a new contract with his deal expiring in 2015 and his agent declaring he was available and by June his agent was stating publicly that Wanyama wanted to move to Arsenal – albeit so that he could eventually end up at Manchester United ‘like Robin van Persie’.

However, after all the huff and puff (and guff) Wanyama moves to Southampton – does that mean Arsenal and United weren’t in for him? With all due respect to Southampton who, with new boss Mauricio Pochettino are making and chasing some really astute signings so far this summer, it appeared that Wanyama was open and indeed hoping for a move to one of the top four in England.

The fact that he hasn’t suggests there was probably never any concrete interest in the first place from United or Arsenal and whilst Neil Lennon was suggesting he was ‘worth £25 million’ and had ‘the world at his feet’, it would appear he was actually worth half that and has the south coast at his feet.

It just goes to show the kind of hype and tripe agents and the media (myself included) can create. The ‘story’ was that Celtic didn’t want to sell Victor Wanyama, he was worth £25 million, Manchester United and Arsenal were ‘chasing’ him.

The truth was Celtic didn’t mind selling him, he was worth £12.5 million and Southampton were the only ones interested. It’s a curious case.

image: © celticphotos

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