Manchester United Transfer Talk: Why They Must Get Victor Wanyama in January

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  Victor Wanyama of Celtic celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

With just six weeks to run until the January transfer window opens for business, Old Trafford is once again set to be one of the stages hosting a transfer-centric media circus of epic proportions.

Victor Wanyama has risen as one of those talents deemed good enough to be linked with a move to Manchester United, as the Metro report that the Red Devils are “prioritising” the Kenyan’s signature.

Despite spending just a little under 18 months in the green and white of Celtic, Wanyama—the first ever Kenyan to play in the SPL—is now being valued by his club at a staggering £25 million (via Daily Mail).

But, does a player signed in 2011 for just £900,000 really warrant a price-tag quite so lofty, or is Neil Lennon perhaps placing slight over-estimations on their former Beerschot star?

Wanyama’s rise to the top is quite remarkable, shooting from mid-table Jupiler League football to scoring against one of the world’s best sides in Champions League competition in just a year-and-a-half.

This season, the midfielder plays with the number 67 on his back, in remembrance of the 1967 European Cup-winning Buoys, and immediately putting himself in good standing with his new side’s supporters.

However, a goal against Barcelona isn’t likely to be the only shining moment in what would look like a highly promising career, as Wanyama has been a consistent talent since moving to Scotland’s top flight.

In his debut season for Celtic, Wanyama managed to score four goals despite operating mainly out of defensive midfield, a tally he has already surpassed by two this campaign.

That kind of growth shows that the African sensation is only adapting further to the Scottish style of play, a game which isn’t so far-flung from the English top flight as some would suggest.

In the coming months, Manchester United will be associated with transfers for players coming from across the globe; players that would undoubtedly need time to settle into the Premier League and its style.

For Wanyama, that wouldn’t be so much of an issue, as the proof is already out there for all to see that the youngster is up to the task.

Another factor working in Wanyama’s favour is time. While he may be one of his team’s talismans, it’s important to note that Celtic’s starlet is still only 21 years old, a kind of age that would seem to fit in with the youthful format Sir Alex Ferguson likes to buy into.

Although the youngster plays out of defensive midfield for the most part, it’s also encouraging for the Red Devils to see just how versatile a prospect they’re in the hunt for.

Already this season, Wanyama has shown the ability to play in central midfield, central defence or as an attacking playmaker should the need arise.

It’s no secret that Ferguson is one of those to prefer a malleable asset, someone whom he can rely upon to fill in at different positions if injuries and suspensions should call for it.

In Wanyama, the Scotsman would appear to have just that, and a player who could by all means prove to be far more economical than some of the other transfer options the club are currently looking at.

The player would appear to be a needed asset to as, according to, Wanyama has averaged 4.4 tackle per game. United's best tackler of the ball this season has been Rafael, who registers an average of just 3.4.

Despite news of Neil Lennon’s £25 million valuation of his player, Celtic’s lack of European muscle may eventually mean the club taking a significant cut on that price.

Considering the Kenyan international was signed for less than £1 million, even the £12 million that Metro says Ferguson is willing to pay would sound like a massive coup for the Glaswegians.

What’s more, as former Aberdeen player and Scottish manager, Ferguson will undoubtedly be able to flex some of the contacts held in his native in order to find a way of winning this particular race, now thought to involve the likes of Manchester City as well.

21-year-old Wanyama was recently alleged by the Daily Mail to have turned down Celtic’s latest offer of a contract extension, further fuelling speculation about the anchorman’s future.

A move to Old Trafford would not only benefit the player in terms of silverware opportunities, but the financial benefits United are able to offer would assuredly be more lucrative for Wanyama than anything Celtic could muster.

So, while there are other players in similar positions and with higher European profiles than Celtic’s emerging superstar, all evidence would appear to sort out Victor Wanyama as a most sensible choice of transfer target for the Red Devils this winter.

The Buoys have seen a surge in standards of late and are throwing around their weight on not just a domestic, but a European scale also, something fans of the club haven’t seen for some time.

Such a feat is thanks in no small part to Wanyama, but unfortunately, in the world of football, such extravagance does not go unnoticed, and may not remain at Celtic Park for much longer as a result.


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