There literally are hundreds of names that are bandied around in one transfer window regarding any big club as it were in Europe. No wonder why one has to be coy about any link for any player to whatever club, not least when the window is still open.
That said, there is always some truth in any rumour; as remote as it could be. The big boys have extensive scouting networks that stretch across the globe and whenever there is a player who seems to be good enough for the big leagues, the crème de la crème in club football will always be at their doorstep.
It is no wonder then that Kenya’s most
recent, most promising player; Victor Mugubi Wanyama, is reported as being
subject to interest from the club of his dreams; Manchester United.
The young and dynamic midfielder joined Scottish giants Celtic on 9 July last year and has since been a revelation. Like his brother McDonald Mariga at Parma before him, he has become an important cog in the wheel of a decent team. As a result, just like his brother before him, the big teams want him, with reports this week claiming that Manchester United lead the race for his signature.
Should try their luck
It is really huge for Kenyan football that our best players are finally catching the eye of the best teams. However, while I hold the opinion that Victor Wanyama may be just what Man Utd need right now, I would be opposed to this move on quite a number of counts. But before I spoil the stew for those Kenyan Man U fans hoping to see Wanyama in the red of United starting this year, let me first make a case for why I think United should go after this one.
It is common knowledge that among the biggest teams in Europe, Manchester United has the weakest midfield.
sides like Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Liverpool have far better
central midfielders than the dethroned kings of England. One would argue that
should the squad be fully fit, a pairing of Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher
could on their day come up against any other in the world.
But I bet that isn’t something we’ll see too often; if at all. Anderson has never lived up to his billing and while Sir Alex drummed it up for Michael Carrick recently, none of us really believes he is up there with Yaya Toure. Tom Cleverley is yet to perform at the top level consistently for a whole season.
Manchester United traditionally plays
with a deep-lying playmaker (mostly Paul Scholes) as we saw Tom Cleverley doing
in the earlier part of last season. Alongside him is usually a more aggressive
(not necessarily defensive) box-to-box player; the role held by Roy Keane and
assumed by the likes of Darren Fletcher and Anderson or like last year; Michael
Carrick. This specific role is where I feel United lack most and that is where
Wanyama would come in.
At Celtic, he plays a defensive role and while he would still naturally perform those duties at United, would also have more of a chance to express his capable attacking powers as well. Victor could well be United’s Yaya.
I doubt, though, that that is going to
happen under current boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scot has never had a regular player
in his team who hails from Africa and I wouldn’t bet on him bucking that trend.
Ferguson cites the biennial disruption by the African Cup of Nations as his
reason for failing to put his trust in Africa internationals and whatever
promising player arrives at Old Trafford from these shores almost always ends
up being shipped out a couple of years (or months) later.
I definitely wouldn’t want to see that happen to Victor.
Pick him ahead of others?
The other reservation I may have on this
one is the fact that while I would personally play Victor if I was the manager
at a top club, I don’t necessarily think Sir Alex will directly pick him ahead
of his other youngsters.
On tour in South Africa and China, young midfielders Nick Powell, Davide Petrucci, Jesse Lingard and Ryan Tunnicliffe really impressed along the more stellar names and as such, am not sure that even if Wanyama arrived at United, the coach would be so keen to pick him over this homegrown talent.
Finally, I think that the lad isn’t ready
yet for such a move. Regardless of how good one appears to be, there is always
the pressure that is associated with playing for a club of United’s stature and
to get there, he needs time and experience. If he hurries this move, he may end
up having to return to the same level as before like his brother did. Most don’t
even get that chance.
If he really believes in himself and his ability, then someone huge will still be interested in him down the line. Sir Alex may not even be in charge at United then!