Victor Wanyama Is Manchester United's Ideal January Transfer Target

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 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

At Christmas time, the average person’s thoughts turn to present giving, cooking and the joyous geniality that tends to forge our spirits throughout the festive season.

However, for the avid football fan, December 25 marks the one-week countdown until the opening of the January transfer window, and Old Trafford perhaps courts as much speculation as any other location at this time of year.

Sir Alex Ferguson will have numerous targets marked out as possible signatures during the winter period and, according to the Daily Mail, is considering a swoop for Victor Wanyama, as he should.

The Mail on Sunday (h/t Sky Sports) recently reported that Sir Alex would not be getting caught up in the January transfer whirlwind. "I will not be bringing anybody in, in January, definitely not,” he said.

That being said, even the all-knowing Ferguson can’t account for unforeseen circumstances and, should his hand be forced to delve into transfer business, would be correct in looking towards Wanyama as a priority target.

Just as they are in terms of economic resources and the world markets, Africa is becoming a more and more valuable commodity in football and Wanyama would appear to be at the forefront of Kenya’s evolution.

Kenya have never qualified for a World Cup and have never made it past Round One of an Africa Cup of Nations tournament, meaning that a lot of hope is being rested on the potential that the anchorman holds; a potential that Ferguson is known to be a fan of when conducting transfer business.

And it would seem that Manchester United will have plenty of time to get as much as possible out of the Celtic star who, despite being just 21 years of age, is already one of the SPL’s most promising talents.

In recent years, with his future at the club coming to its inevitable ending, Sir Alex Ferguson has sought to sign and nurture a number of youthful starlets as well as those academy products already at the club.

Some of the supposed stars of tomorrow would appear to be the likes of Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa, Nick Powell, Alexander Büttner, Rafael, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as well as others.

What this shows is that the youth are very much in Manchester United’s thoughts right now, creating a dynasty that will last on after Ferguson is gone. Wanyama would certainly seem to fall into this demographic at his current age and is a very attractive prospect in those terms.

Having played in the Scottish Premier League for the last 18 months, the sometimes Celtic captain is already accustomed to the kind of physical climates required of one looking to play in the English top flight.

While there are prospects of equal or greater talent based throughout Europe and South America, too many times have we seen a player transfer to a different continent only to find that his style of play perhaps isn’t accustomed to the Premier League.

Although the risk isn’t completely absent, Wanyama’s acquisition would seem safer in this regard, having shown himself to be more than capable in a league known to be similar to its southern counterpart in terms of style.

Perhaps the most important and necessary questions to ask when looking at transfer targets is just who is needed and how their presence would improve the team.

Right now, one could certainly argue that the positions in which Manchester United are lacking most is in central midfield, with a focus on the defensive side of things, as well as at centre-back.

As the Telegraph ponder, it remains uncertain as to whether or not Rio Ferdinand will put pen to paper over a Red Devils extension and the defender would require a considerable replacement should he decide to leave in 2013.

Unlike a lot of young talents in modern football, Wanyama has a massive versatility about him and has shown on numerous occasions that he is more than capable of playing as a centre-back should he need to.

Neil Lennon has used the Kenyan international in defence, as a deep-lying playmaker and also further ahead during his tenure with the Bhoys, showing that he is at least malleable, if nothing else.

Speaking in November, Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, attempted to convince those interested that his midfielder was worth a reported £25 million (via Guardian).

However, considering the Scottish side signed the midfielder for just £900,000 in 2011, it would appear as though there is space to manoeuvre in price negotiations.

After all, Sir Alex Ferguson undoubtedly has a raft of Scottish contacts to use in bartering with the Glaswegians in order to find the best deal possible.

All factors considered, the Kenyan may turn out be an economically efficient avenue to explore, as well as one that would bring the most to United’s squad right now.

Wanyama’s signature is destined to be a much desired asset this New Year, and the Red Devils would be wise to ensure that they’re at the head of the queue when bidding begins.


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