There has been much talk this season about Victor Wanyama’s impact or lack thereof.
The Kenyan has become one of a long line of ‘marmite’ characters in a Saints shirt, often finding himself the scapegoat for poor team performances, and no matter how well he plays, has always struggled to win some fans round.
Having had to adapt to life post-Morgan Schneiderlin there is no doubt Victor hasn’t had quite the same level of performance we have come to expect, but are people being overly harsh?
Having been sent off three times this season, it is clear that a lot of the St. Mary’s faithful have lost patience with him, but there are still those who think he has a future at the club, and whats more, is still a ‘key’ player.
Everyone knows my opinion of Wanyama, so I put it to twitter to ask where does his future lie? Should Saints cash in as they now have other (possibly better) options? Or is he still an important part of our team?
It is predictably tight.
Victor Wanyama. Still one of the best players at the club? Or No longer needed? #saintsfc
— Chris Rann (@crstig) February 19, 2016
The case for the Prosecution:-
@ShaneyyG4 ‘While I think Vic has turned a corner in terms of commitment to the cause (arguably the upturn in form and the potential for another crack at European football on the cards will have helped this) I think we should sell him while his stock is high.
Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s had loads of good performances in a Saints shirt, but it’s becoming all too common for him to get sent off. If this was one of our Young academy prospects coming through I’d completely understand and put it down to a learning process, but Vic is an experienced player who has played in the Champions league with Celtic and spent most of his Saints career next to arguably one of our best ever midfield destroyers in Schneiderlin.
What Vic really lacks is the Intelligence to know when he does have to commit a red/yellow card offence for the benefit of the team and when he has to keep his temper in check and play it clever.
Personally I think we have more tactically astute replacements in Romeu and Clasie, and Reed can push both of these all the way for a starting berth too.
Do we need Vic?’
The case for the Defence:–
@geddesduncan ‘At face value, our strength in depth can be used as a convincing argument to sell Victor Wanyama and take some money. Who needs him when we’ve got Romeu?
Koeman gives us the answer in his team selection. Wanyama comes first for holding onto the ball at all costs, putting himself in the way of opposition passes and outmuscling almost everyone he comes up against.
Most of his work is done when the ball is elsewhere, closing space before opposing players can reach it.
His ‘attitude problems’ felt real at one stage, but most backlash from supporters smacked of second hand anger at truly disrespectful twerps like Saido Berahino or Dani Osvaldo.
Transfer speculation may or may not be behind Wanyama’s dips in form or recent acquaintance with red cards.
But fans would do well to remember that Romeu has consistently worse discipline and isn’t accused of losing focus.
Meanwhile, Wanyama gets on with his job.
So long as the staff are confident they can keep him performing, as they are right now, he is worth more than the money we could recoup from letting him off his contract.’
It is testament to Saints up-turn in form and their strength in midfield that this is an incredibly close call, but the vote is swayed slightly towards keeping Wanyama at the club. Will he commit to a new contract though?