NAIROBI, Kenya, October 9 – With one sweep of his right boot, Victor Wanyama saw his shot arc and rest in the Swansea City net for what proved to be the only goal and decider to mark his debut strike for English Premier League side, Southampton FC but what followed was even more dramatic.
The Kenyan midfield dynamo’s face concocted into a painful expression; as if he had committed the worst crime in his career instead of bursting into the chest-thumping and lung-bursting celebrations the occasion deserved.
Wanyama, 23, now hungers for more goals in the most popular league in the world, the crowning moment on September 20 away to the Swans at Liberty Stadium, ten minutes from time not lost on him.
Big Vic as his team-mates refer him back in England helped his side moved to the dizzy heights of second on the log before their former manager Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur led his new charges past them to see champions Manchester City leapfrog them last weekend.
The goal meant a lot to the Kenyan who couldn’t believe that he once again made history as the first East African to net in the prestigious league, something that he says has motivated him to work hard and assist his club attain good results this season.
“It felt great to be the first Kenyan to score in the EPL and I enjoyed the goal. I’m happy to score my first goal for Southampton and hopefully that’s one of the many to come. I will work hard to achieve more,” Wanyama who linked up with Harambee Stars Thursday ahead of their international friendly against AFCON hosts Morocco next week underscored.
“I scored a clean goal against the same team (Swansea) last season at home and it was ruled out and I didn’t know why, so this time round I was not too sure if I had scored so I decided to chill,” Wanyama the younger brother of Parma midfielder MacDonald Mariga explained the reason why he looked like thunder while laughing.
Wanyama, who joined the Saints last season from Scottish Premiership champions Celtic, has endured a superb start to the season with his team and was named the African EPL Player of the Month of September.
The maestro midfielder termed the Award as an honour to him saying it’s not easy to win the accolade in the midst of established African players in EPL.
“This is the best thing that has happened in my career. It means a lot to me because it’s not easy to win an award in EPL because this is where you find all the best African players who perform well so I’m honoured to win one,” Wanyama who beat West Ham’s Senegalese new boy Diafra Sakho to the award said.
Southampton is occupying an enviable third place in the EPL on 13 points after round seven and Wanyama, who has been solid in the central midfield, believes they are in top form as they seek to improve from last season’s eighth position.
“We have been working hard and we have done well so far to be where we are. It’s not easy so we want to continue working hard and if possible stay there.
“We want to finish in a better position than last season so anything above top 8 will be good but it won’t be that easy because everyone is a threat in the league and all matches are tough,” he concluded.