Victor Wanyama says that former manager Mauricio Pochettino was a major reason for his transfer to Tottenham Hotspur this summer.
Tottenham’s hefty £11m bid is a testament to Wanyama’s rising form over the years into one of the most consistent midfielders in England. The defensive midfielder has been a major part in The Saints Premier League success playing over 97 appearances in the last three years.
Wanyama story speaks wonders for underdogs in small football countries. The Premier Leagues first Kenyan born international is no stranger to defying the odds, and has reunited with his former Southampton manager Pochettino.
Q: How much was Mauricio a factor?
A: It was easy for me to choose here because I know how the manager is, I know the manager likes to work hard and he improves the players as well. I thought it was a good opportunity for me to come here and also I think I can improve as a player here.
Q: What in particular attracted you to Spurs?
A: There is more into it – you can see the talent here and also you can see the manager so everything has been great and seeing from outside also they have a great fan base and I think it’s a big club so that’s what attracted me to come here.
Q: How excited are you to be part of next chapter?
A: I think Spurs have made a giant step, they’ve always improved since the manager arrived here and I think they can only get better so hopefully there are good things ahead.
THE POCHETTINO FACTOR
There is no doubt that since Pochettino’s arrival at Spurs, Tottenham’s quest to break a 55 year drought to become League Champions once again looks near.
Spurs finished third in the Premier League last season behind London rivals Arsenal and Champions Leicester City.
Pochettino signed Wanyama for Southampton in the 2012/13 Premier League season, but departed soon after.
With one of the greatest youth development academies in England, Spurs have produced some of England’s greatest young superstars. Pochettino’s intent on giving young lads game time has paid dividends for Spurs and England, producing The Three Lions next big things in Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier.
Wanyama will also play in the Champions League for the second time of his career. He was only 21 when he famously scoring Celtic’s first goal in their 2-1 Champions League win over F.C Barcelona in 2012.
Q: You like to make history – first Kenyan to score in CL, first to play in PL so what’s next and what are your ambitions with us?
A: I think impossible is nothing so I think if you work hard and we can achieve winning the Premier League then that would be my dream. That’s my dream in life, to win the Premier League or any trophy with the club.
Wanyama first major Spur involvement will be down under in Australia for the International Champions Cup in July next month.
Ever been to Australia before?
A: No, I’ve never been to Australia but I think that’s a good opportunity for myself to know and bond with my team-mates and I’m looking forward to it. It will be a nice experience for me to go to Australia and also get to learn more about my team-mates. I think it will be a great time.
Tottenham Hotspur will be in Melbourne from July 23 to play Juventus and Atletico Madrid. Tickets are available now from Ticketek.