Victor Mugubi Wanyama (born 25 June 1991) is a Kenyan professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and captains the Kenya national team. On the field, Wanyama is known for his sportsmanship and leadership qualities.
After a successful trial, Wanyama signed for Beerschot AC on a four-year contract in summer 2008. He made his debut in a League match at the end of the 2008–09 season. In September 2009, he was fined €100 and given a three-match suspension for a violent tackle on Matias Suarez of Anderlecht.
In the summer of 2010 Scottish Premier League club Celtic attempted to sign Wanyama but Beerschot did not allow him to leave. Russian club CSKA Moscow also attempted to sign him, but they failed as well.
Wanyama scored his first goal for Beerschot on 11 December 2010, a 77th-minute equaliser against Westerlo. In April 2011, he received another three match suspension after video evidence showed he had elbowed Brecht Dejaeghere of K.V. Kortrijk.
On 9 July 2011, Wanyama finally completed a £900,000 move to Celtic from Beerschot AC, after the Scottish club had failed to sign him the previous year. He signed a four-year contract and in doing so became the first ever Kenyan to play in the SPL. Wanyama chose 67 as his squad number to honour the Lisbon Lions, Celtic’s 1967 European Cup winning team. Wanyama made his Celtic league debut in a 1–0 loss to St Johnstone on 21 August 2011. He played in central defence rather than his favoured central midfield role.
In October 2012, Wanyama scored twice against St Mirren at Saint Mirren Park, the second of which was a half volley from 25 yards out.
On 25 October 2012, Wanyama’s agent released a statement saying that he had turned down an improved contract offer from Celtic, stating that his wage demands could not be met by the club amid speculation of interest from clubs in England. On 7 November, Wanyama opened the scoring with a powerful header as Celtic shocked Barcelona in the Champions League group stage, by beating them 2–1 at Celtic Park.
After much speculation and a previous breakdown in talks, on 11 July 2013, Wanyama signed for Premier League side Southampton for a fee claimed to be £12.5 million, making him the first Kenyan to ever play in the Premier League.
He made his debut on 17 August 2013, in 1–0 away win against West Bromwich Albion. Wanyama made 24 appearances in his first season, but injuries hindered his efforts to make much of an impact in the team.
Under new manager Ronald Koeman, Wanyama came into his own in the 2014–15 season. He scored his first goal for the club in a 1–0 league victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on 20 September 2014, after replacing James Ward-Prowse in the 69th minute. His next goal came in an 8–0 trouncing of Sunderland on 19 October 2014. Wanyama would score his third goal for the Saints in spectacular fashion, a 40-yard shot after Eldin Jakupović’s poor clearance fell straight to him, in what proved to be the only goal in a win over Hull City. His performances saw him awarded the league’s African Player of the Month for September, with him stating “It is wonderful being recognised as someone who has done well for his club.”
On 23 June 2016, Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur announced that they had reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Wanyama, signing a five-year contract for a fee of £11 million. Wanyama had previously worked with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino who brought him to Southampton in July 2013. Wanyama scored his first goal for the club on his home debut against Crystal Palace, in the 82nd minute of a 1–0 league win for Spurs. The goal made him the 138th different player to score for the club, extending its record for the most variety of goalscorers for a single club in the Premier League.
He has earned over 40 caps for the Kenyan national team since making his international debut in May 2007 at the age of 15.
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