Victor Wanyama has found life tough recently but he may find redemption at Manchester United or West Ham if recent reports are accurate. In light of Jose Mourinho’s purported ₤100 million January transfer warchest, it is not beyond the imagination. Using statistics, we will use this player analysis to assess his suitability at Old Trafford.
The Kenyan midfield enforcer has battled through knee injury problems and seen the competition for places increase at Tottenham Hotspur His first appearance of any kind came in the fifth league game of the season as he regained match fitness. Overall, he has collected just 178 minutes across all competitions and is yet to complete a game.
Would he even make the starting lineup under Mauricio Pochettino when he is finally at full fitness? Eric Dier and Moussa Dembele have sewn up the midfield base. Harry Winks has offered a more creative option at times. It comes as little surprise therefore that talk is increasing of him leaving Spurs in the winter break. With the increased pressure of the hugely expensive delayed new stadium, Daniel Levy’s infamous frugality will only strengthen.
Different aspects of Wanyama
Below, we have collected his statistics over the previous four seasons, given his severe lack of meaningful minutes this season. Given the lack of consistent minutes, we have taken all statistics per 90 minutes. Even during the last campaign, his minutes dropped to the equivalent of less than 10 full matches. Nevertheless, that his successful pass completion has remained within the same 5% suggests at least some degree of consistency.
Mauricio Pochettino knew him well from their time together at Southampton before bringing him to White Hart Lane in 2016. His powerful style made him a rock at the heart of the midfield as his 2.97 tackles won in 2014-15 suggests. That figure dropped to just 1.85 in his first season in London, but not through a lack of intensity.
The change in style and quality of teammates lessened the pressure on him to commit to duels. Despite these altered surroundings the consistency of percentage of duels won has barely changed. At Southampton, he was required to shield the defence more deeply, leading to more duels. His drop in interceptions by half to around one per 90 minutes is another indicator of circumstance.
Given that United’s defence has been uncertain at best, those are the qualities United would find invaluable. He has shown that he can adapt to varying roles though. His most productive campaign in possession came two years ago when his 0.93 key passes dwarfed other seasons.
United’s squad is bloated in midfield, and other areas of the squad undoubtedly require more urgent attention. Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Marouane Fellaini and Andreas Pereira are already vying for effectively two places. Very few areas of the starting lineup are settled, however, and Wanyama’s value is likely to be well within budget. The odds of him joining United shortened yesterday to 8/1: perhaps for good reason.