According to The Mirror, Italian outfit Roma were interested in signing Tottenham powerhouse Victor Wanyama, as an alternative to Steven N’Zonzi.
Fortunately for The Lilywhites, Roma managed to capture the signature of N’Zonzi, and since then the interest has died down for the Kenyan. But it did raise the alarming prospect for fans of Wanyama leaving the club.
Entering his third season in north London, Wanyama (valued at £27m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) has had a mixed bag at White Hart Lane. He featured extensively in his first season, playing 36 Premier League games, but his appearances last year were curtailed by a knee injury that has recurred this year.
But amidst interest in the big man, Tottenham should certainly not plan on selling him, as it could spell disaster for the club. Wanyama was one of the best and most consistent performers under manager Mauricio Pochettino two years ago. His strength and solidity deep in the midfield allowed partner Mousa Dembélé a free roam around the pitch, in what was arguably Tottenham’s best season in a very long time.
The reason why Wanyama had such a starring role is because Eric Dier was deployed as a centre-back when Pochettino opted for three at the back. This created a space for Wanyama in the team and he took it. However, the purchase of Dávinson Sánchez, and choice of Pochettino to play with only two centre-backs meant Dier moved up into the midfield.
However, with a potential Toby Alderweireld exit, Pochettino could revert back to using Dier as a centre-back, meaning he will need that defensive-minded midfielder to rejoin the team.
But regardless of whether Alderweireld leaves or stays and where Dier plays, there is still an argument that Wanyama is a better midfielder than the Englishman. It is definitely a battle worth witnessing between the two. But with Dembélé getting older and potentially requiring more breaks, as well as the injuries to Harry Winks, Wanyama is likely to play a starring role in the Tottenham side this season.
That is why, despite potentially falling out of favour in north London last season, Wanyama still has a hugely important role at the club. After failing to recruit anyone over the summer, and a couple of injuries, Tottenham may find themselves pushed this year, and they’ll need the Kenyan.