NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama believes his new club Tottenham Hotspurs can win this season’s English Premier League title, after coming very close last year, dipping in the final bend to finish third.
Wanyama, Speaking to Capital Sport from London where he has been familiarising himself with new surrounding after completing a Sh1.5bn switch from Southampton FC says he is upbeat the team’s young squad has enough hunger to challenge for the title.
“Winning the league? Why not? It can happen. I believe if we push hard enough and work well as a team, we can achieve it after the team came very close last season. We have a very young and talented squad and we can only get better if we push each other,” the Kenyan midfielder noted.
However, he expects it to be tough with most of the top clubs having recruited players and coaches heavily.
Manchester City have brought on board perennial winner Pep Guardiola from Bayern Munich, Chelsea have hired immediate former Italy boss Antonio Conte while Manchester United have brought on board former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
“It is very tough because every competitor is capable and ready. We cannot afford to sleep on the job,” added the midfielder, who has earned plaudits for his performance for the new club in pre-season friendly matches.
Apart from aiming at being the first ever East African to drape in an English Premier League winner’s medal, Wanyama is excited at the prospect of playing in the UEFA champions League after three years.
While at Celtic, Wanyama was a vital pillar in the team that reached the knockout phase of the competition, his most famous game being at Celtic Park where he scored the winners as the side beat Barcelona 2-1.
He hopes he can replicate the same performance at Spurs who will be playing Champions League football this season.
“For any player, hearing that Champions League theme song playing is always emotional. For me, it is very exciting to be back to European Football and I can’t wait to get into action. Champions League nights are always special and I am hoping we can do well,” he told Capital Sport.
Wanyama is also excited at the prospect of working with Mauricio Pochettino once again, the man who brought him to the English Premier League at the end of the 2012/2013 season from the Scottish top tier.
“It has been a bit easy for me to settle down here because we understand each other and I know how he wants me to work. I have also felt very comfortable at the club because everyone has been welcoming and it feels as though I have been here forever,” Wanyama said.
“I have really enjoyed the training sessions plus the pre-season friendly matches we have played and hopefully, I will get off to a good start here. Competition is very tough and I need to keep working hard. Spurs is a great club with fans worldwide and I am so happy to be here,” he says.
The tough tackling defensive midfielder is expected to form a new partnership with England international Eric Dier. His stats will be impressive especially with the North London club having suffered in midfield last year, lacking combative cover.
He scored one goal and created 15 chances in 30 Premier League appearances for Southampton last season. The midfielder had a pass accuracy of 82pc and a shot accuracy of 21pc, and won 64 headers, 23 dribbles and 71 tackles.