With all due respect to the Kenyan National Team, Tottenham are 100% justified in their decision to keep Victor Wanyama in London this week.
One of the pressing issues facing Mauricio Pochettino at the moment is how he should set up his midfield on a week-to-week basis. The return of Victor Wanyama from injury will certainly increase his options. That’s why Tottenham are right to prevent the physical midfielder from going out on international duty this week.
Goal.com reports that the Premier League club and Kenyan officials are at odds over Spurs’ reluctance to let Wanyama leave this week. Remember, Wanyama only returned to first team training with his club last week. He made the bench against Watford, but did not participate in Tottenham’s loss to the Hornets.
It’s not as if Wanyama has been a picture of health over the last year. His 2017/18 campaign for Spurs was significantly diminished by his inability to stay on the pitch. There were even rumours that he’d be sold this summer in an effort to recruit a more reliable option.
For the record, Tottenham’s stance doesn’t have anything to do with the particulars of how Kenya manager their players. It’s a simple matter of the club wanting to protect a valuable asset. It’s understandable that Spurs don’t trust any nation’s physios in comparison to their own medical staff. Letting Wanyama continue to build up his strength away from Hotspur Way would be a risk.
The uncertainty surrounding Mousa Dembele at the moment means it’s a risk the club can’t afford to take. Reports continue to swirl around the club that the Belgian will be headed to China once the January transfer window opens. Even if those rumours are unfounded, Dembele is a player who misses significant time due to injury on an annual basis. At the very least, Tottenham will need Wanyama to fill in for Dembele at some point during the current campaign.
Frankly, Wanyama should make it a point to stay in North London for the next few weeks no matter what his club thinks. He owes it to Tottenham to do everything he can to get his body well enough to start important Premier League matches once again. Once he proves he can do that, he’ll be more than welcome to go off and play for Kenya again. For now, he needs to put all of his energy and focus on helping Pochettino win trophies.