NAIROBI, September 3- Harambee Stars captain, Victor Wanyama, is happy to play out the campaign at Southampton after a proposed move to north London giants, Tottenham Hotspurs, fell through on transfer deadline day Monday.
Wanyama, who delayed his arrival to link up with the squad that will play Zambia in a 2017 Nations Cup qualifier on Sunday, in a bid to push his exit from the Saint Mary’s, said Thursday he was now focused on re-claiming his place in Ronald Koeman’s side.
The Southampton boss did not field him in their last two games including last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Norwich that kick-started their English Premier League campaign claiming the Kenyan midfield star was not in the right frame of mind.
Wanyama hit the headlines when he handed in a transfer request last Friday to force a move from the club.
“I will fully concentrate on Southampton since I have a contract with them running. It didn’t affect me in any way. I’m still a Southampton player and I will give my best when I go back and hopefully, we will win more games.
“It has been difficult for the team when I was away but things will be alright. These things happen but I’m good to go,” the former Glasgow Celtic player said after joining head coach Bobby Williamson’s Stars on Thursday morning.
With the collapsed move now behind the Kenyan captain, Wanyama expressed disappointment with the Saints’ failure to qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League after the club exceeded all expectations to finish in European places last season.
“Our intention was to do well in the play-offs in my first appearance in the tournament but we have to focus to return to Europe next season,” the most expensive Kenyan footballer in history after moving across the English border from Celtic to Southampton for 10 million pounds expressed.
“It was disappointing but we have to move on. We have a young team and we had to get experience and come next season we hope it will be better,” he added.
Denmark champions, FC Midtjylland, caused an upset when they fell the fancied Saints 2-1 on aggregate after a nail-biting second leg 1-0 reverse on August 27 in the away leg.
It was the first crucial tie for Wanyama to miss before he was also omitted from the Norwich squad where a Dusan Tadic double added to Graziano Pelle’s opener to give Southampton a first victory of the season last Saturday.
Wanyama was keen to reunite with the manager who brought him to England, Mauricio Pochettino who left the Saints at the end of the season before last to take charge at White Hart Lane.
However, Koeman and chairman Ralph Krueger, stuck to their guns insisting the midfield dynamo was not on sale with the manager urging Wanyama to emulate his former teammate, Morgan Schneiderlin, and stop trying to force a move to Spurs.
The Dutch boss told the Kenyan captain that his friend Schneiderlin was happier now after joining giants Manchester United in the close season after his move to Spurs collapsed the previous summer when Pochettino left Saint Mary’s stadium.
“It was important to get the win against Norwich; we needed it because we started badly and we are on our way up and hopefully, we will keep our momentum going.
“Our aim is to get better than last season so hopefully we will work hard,” the midfielder summed.