Former Scottish Premiership striker Noel Whelan believes that Tottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama would be given regular game time at Celtic if he returns to the Glasgow club.
Last week, Football Insider reported that the 28-year-old was open to the possibility of reuniting with Neil Lennon, who was also in charge at Celtic during Wanyama’s previous stint with the club, although the report claimed that a loan move was likelier than a permanent deal given that the Hoops would probably struggle to pay the midfielder’s £65,000-a-week wages.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan thinks that a loan move to the Scottish champions would be the perfect destination for Wanyama and his quest for regular minutes after falling out of favour in north London.
He told Football Insider: “It looks like Wanyama’s Tottenham career is coming to an end. He’s had a lot of injury problems in the last few years and he can’t get in the team.
“No player can be happy not playing. He’ll want to get his career back on track and a move to Celtic on loan makes total sense.
“He knows the club really well, he knows Neil Lennon thinks the world of him and he would be playing regularly. I can see him joining in January, definitely.”
Whelan is right in saying that Wanyama has been dogged by injuries and seems to have little future at Tottenham, but whether he would walk straight into the Celtic team if he returned to the club is open to debate.
The Kenyan was quite effective from the middle of his park in his first time at the club, scoring 13 goals and providing nine assists in 91 appearances. [via TransferMarkt]
In the 2012/13 Champions League campaign, he averaged 2.1 successful aerial duels, four tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 3.6 clearances and 0.9 dribbles per game. [via WhoScored]
In 193 games for Southampton and Tottenham, he managed just 11 goals and three assists, while last season for Spurs, his Premier League match averages were 1.1 successful aerial duels, one tackle, 0.5 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and 0.5 dribbles, as per WhoScored.
He has gone from starting 35 league games for Tottenham in the 2016/17 campaign to just four last term, while his only start this season has come in the Carabao Cup and he has had a mere two substitute appearances in other competitions.
Also, Lennon already has a variety of midfield players from which to choose. Defensive midfielder Nir Bitton has been featuring regularly, albeit mostly at centre-back. Scott Brown has provided a physical force in the middle, with an average of 3.5 tackles and 2.5 interceptions per game this season. Further forward, Olivier Ntcham has supplied three goals and three assists in 16 games this term.
At 28, Wanyama’s career should still have a bit to run, and a reunion with Lennon may give him the shot in the arm that he needs.
However, with Celtic already having several midfielders showing better form than what Wanyama had been exhibiting in recent months, the Kenyan should need to earn his place in the Hoops line-up if he goes back to Glasgow, even if Whelan feels that such a move would quickly yield a return to regular action.
Should Celtic re-sign Victor Wanyama?
Celtic fans, would you like to see Wanyama back at the club and do you think he should go straight into the team if he did rejoin? Give us your views in the comments section below!
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