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Wanyama looking a snip at £12m for Tottenham

Thursday 5th January 2017
Tottenham Hotspur's Victor Wanyama starred as the Lilywhites exacted their revenge against fierce rivals Chelsea in Wednesday night's Premier League win at White Hart Lane.

The 25-year-old was a rock at the heart of the midfield, boasting more tackles than his compatriots, while making the second-most amount of interceptions in the Tottenham side too.

And given Spurs paid just £12m to Southampton for his signature, Wanyama looks like one of the buys of the season.

Finally gelled after a false start

The Kenyan international endured a slow start to life in London, picking up the headlines for indiscipline rather than his performances, but he's remained an ever-present for Tottenham in the Premier League this season and has rewarded Mauricio Pochettino's faith in him. “(Pochettino) played a big part in convincing me to join the club because I had worked with him before and know he is a manager who will improve players,” said Wanyama of the Spurs boss upon his summer arrival.

Many thought Wanyama would be cover for the Tottenham midfield as the likes of Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele were commanding a starting place due to their fine form in 2015/16. But Wanyama has forced his way into the side and doesn't look like relinquishing his place. Against Chelsea, he completed more passes than his teammates and made the second-most amount of clearances. He's a key figure in the team and Tottenham's success will lie, in part, on his form alongside Dembele.

The perfect ball-winner

It's no surprise why the Londoners boast the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, and such uncompromising physicality will see Tottenham match any team. Wanyama doesn't have the agility and quick feet like the majority of his teammates, but he knows his limitations and keeps his role simplified to turnover possession and give the ball to the more creative players in the team. This season, he's averaged a tackle or interception every 24 minutes and boasts an 80% dribble success rate – further highlighting his superior physicality.

And alongside a powerhouse midfielder like Mousa Dembele who seldom relinquishes possession, nor loses out on a duel, Tottenham have the most difficult spine to penetrate. Spurs are in the top-four for fewest shots conceded and it's not hard to see why. They have big, strong athletic midfielders protecting the backline as well as the talented, pacey forwards to turn chances into goals. Wanyama is as essential to the side as Alli at the other end, and somehow Pochettino has improved upon an already solid team from last season.

Signing of the season?

For £11M, Wanyama is undoubtedly one of the best value-for-money signings made this season. He was courted by a number of other clubs, but their loss has been Tottenham's gain. The midfielder ended his time on the South coast after an indifferent season that saw him pick up three red cards in the Premier League, while cutting an unhappy figure for the majority. He's back to his best after being reacquainted with his former manager and could well find himself nominated for the Premier League Signing of the Season award if he continues such fine form for Tottenham.
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 319

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