Victor Wanyama is a household name in the football circles with a football journey that has spanned across some of the major leagues in Europe.
The Harambee Stars captain is known for his combative nature in midfield and while he has had stints in the Premier League and in Belgium, it's during his time in Celtic that the world seriously took notice of the player.
Wanyama arrived at Celtic on 30 June 2011 from Belgium’s Beerschot AC for £900,000 and hit the ground running. At that time, the Scottish giants had Joe Ledley as the primary defensive midfielder and Wanyama was to be another squad player.
After some underperforming displays from Celtic, Wanyama was handed more playing time in the team, and each time he showed up by adding the defensive steel that had lacked in the team’s midfield.
Strong, commanding, and controlling, he was used sparingly as a centre half due to the team’s injury crisis in that position and this made him more endearing to the fans. His constant hard work was to see him bag his first goal for the club in December 2011 against Hearts. It was a screamer that set up the victory. It is a goal that the Celtic fans say cemented his place in the starting team.
His intelligence and the way he read the game gave the players around him the liberty to do their work freely without worry. BBC, in one feature, described Wanyama as the most significant business Celtic manager Neil Warnock ever did for the club.
“Brought in for a relative pittance - £1m - you could easily make the case that Victor Wanyama was Lennon's most significant signing. He was a colossus in the middle of the park, a physical specimen who always looked destined for a bigger league,” BBC noted.
After being a darling to the Celtic faithful, Wanyama catapulted himself to the European front against Barcelona. Despite a 2-1 defeat against the European giants in the Champions League, he was one of the standouts in the game, commanding the centre of the midfield and capping it with the only goal.
His importance to Celtic and the Scottish league was shown when he was to be the first player from the SPL to leave for an 8 figure sum when Southampton acquired his services for an estimated fee of £12.5m.
Happy 29th Birthday Captain.