Victor Wanyama Discusses Tottenham and His Role with the Club

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on August 20, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on August 20, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images) /
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This season has been very good for Victor Wanyama, so much so that he could arguably become Tottenham’s best signing this year.

Victor Wanyama was a target last season just before the summer transfer closed but because Southampton were selling a lot of their stars, Ronald Koeman would be reluctant to part ways with another top player on his team.

That is, until the Dutchman ended up becoming Everton’s new manager following Roberto Martínez’ sacking. Because of this, an £11 million transfer was quickly finalized giving Mauricio Pochettino a proper backup to Eric Dier who appeared in 51 out of 53 total games last season.

The 25-year-old spoke about how his previous relationship with the Argentine manager played a part in joining Spurs. Getting a chance to participate in the Champions League once again and helping Tottenham do well in the Premier League were also factored into his decision.

“He played a big part in convincing me to join the club,” Victor Wanyama said (via ESPN FC). “I had a few options but he was able to convince me to come here because I had worked with him before and know he is a manager who will improve players.”

“Pochettino is a really good person outside football as well as in football. He’s like a father figure [to the players], always speaking with everyone and giving them advice. All of the players look up to him as a father figure and also as a manager.”

“Also, the club is in the Champions League, and has the chance to do well in the Premier League, too. He said to me that I should come and try to achieve some things with this club, and that they could win trophies.”

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After seven games in the Premiership, Tottenham are in second place and a point behind league leaders Manchester City.

Victor Wanyama has played a big part in Spurs’ success this year only missing two games this season as an unused substitute in both instances.

A 2-1 loss to AS Monaco in the Champions League and a 5-0 win against Gillingham in the League Cup.

Spurs’ impressive start this term is because they want to further improve on their accomplishments a year ago. The joint-best defensive record alongside Manchester United and a club-best third place finish in the Premier League era.

Of course Victor Wanyama isn’t the only reason why Tottenham are hitting their stride. Son Heung-Min has been in form lately with five goals in all competitions and the entire squad has been stepping up when players go down with injuries.

But perhaps the one thing that has signified how impressive Spurs have been this season is their ability to reduce their opponent’s average passing accuracy in the Premier League.

By doing so, it prevents teams from reaching Tottenham’s defensive third and most importantly not allowing them to get a shot off or even maintain possession of the ball.

Mauricio Pochettino has been building his team’s defense since the acquisition of Toby Alderweireld last summer. With the addition of Victor Wanyama, Spurs’ high-press has become even more impenetrable.

Next: Érik Lamela Talks About Tottenham and His Form

Although Wanyama was initially seen as Dier’s backup, he has forced his way into the starting lineup mostly due to Mousa Dembélé and Eric Dier’s injuries, but more so because of his current form.

He’s breaking up plays that are developing or about to begin. How the 25-year-old coins it, he’s a player who simply wins the ball back. And, occasionally helps out on offense.

“Every player has his own style, and it’s when they all combine that they really help the team,” Wanyama added. “My style? I like to win the ball, I like to tackle — but if I get the chance then I like to bomb forward and try to get goals, too.”

“I think I’m well suited to the English game, because getting stuck in is not a problem for me. I’m OK with the physical side of the game.”