Why Wanyama is leaving UK with happy memories [PHOTOS]
Victor Wanyama might have left Tottenham Hotspur for Major League Soccer (MLS) side Montreal Impact on a free transfer, but Kenyans and other football fans across the world will forever remember him for his contribution to the English Premier League and the Scottish Premiership.
The Harambee Stars captain completed a surprise move to the Canadian club-managed by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry-yesterday after signing a three-year deal to put an end to his transfer speculation.
Wanyama enjoyed a seven-year stint in the EPL after joining Southampton in 2013 from Scottish giants Celtic before moving to Spurs in 2016, but a nagging knee injury derailed his career as he fell down the pecking order at the North London side.
The defensive midfielder was poised to join Belgian giants Club Brugge in the January transfer window only for the deal to collapse on the transfer deadline day.
He made 97 appearances for Spurs in all competitions and scored seven goals, including the opening goal in their 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the last ever game at the White Hart Lane Stadium.
But he will be fondly remembered for his thunderbolt in Tottenham's 2-2 draw with Liverpool on February 4, 2018 as well as his header that gave Celtic a surprise halftime lead in the 2-1 victory over Barcelona in a 2012 Champions’ League group match at the Celtic Park.
His screamer at Anfield was eventually voted by EPL and Spurs supporters’ club members as their goal of the month (February) and season respectively.
However, he found regular game-time difficult to come by this campaign with the injuries affecting his form since Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino as Spurs manager late last year.
Wanyama’s last appearance for Tottenham came in the 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions’ League group stages, when he came on for the last eight minutes of the game.
Despite being restricted to only 24 minutes in the EPL this season and making just four appearances overall, Wanyama is proud of his achievements and time at Spurs.
“I have had the best moments of my career at Spurs. We achieved great things, helped the team to the best ever finish in the league in my first season and played regularly in the Champions League. I loved the team and gave my all for the club,” said Wanyama.
“I want to thank the club and the management and also all my coaches led by Poch (Mauricio Pochettino) and Jose (Jose Mourinho) for all the value they added in my career. Poch took me to Spurs and trusted me with a key role in the team and he has made me whom I am from my time with him at Southampton.
“I had great teammates at Tottenham. I will carry huge memories from the time I spent with them and I want to wish them all the best for the new season.”
Wanyama, who is likely to make his debut for Montreal against FC Dallas on Saturday, said the possibility of playing for Henry influenced his decision to head to MLS.
“Of course I have known the head coach (Thierry) for a very long time and he has told me what he wants. I also know some players, I’ve been with in the same team, so it will be good. I knew Montreal also had some big players like Didier (Drogba) and Bacary (Sagna) before,” Wanyama told Montreal website.
“This team has achieved a lot in a very short time. If you start a team in 2012 and 2015 you achieve a lot of things like the way Montreal have done, that’s unbelievable. I’m looking forward to making an impact here so that they can be known in East Africa and Africa at large.”
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