Arsene Wenger wants Wanyama in Gunners midfield ranks
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be keen to bolster his midfield options for next season, with a host of current players set to be offloaded, and Southampton enforcer Victor Wanyama is reportedly a top transfer target this summer.
The Kenya international midfielder has been an integral part of Ronald Koeman’s Saints outfit this current campaign, helping the south coast side previously push for a Champions League position (50/1 with Coral to do so), and the 23-year-old has revealed that he is attracting interest from fellow top four rivals Arsenal.
“Wenger has been talking about me. He has let it be known he would like to sign me this summer,” said Wanyama. “Arsenal are a great club and I’d love to play Champions League football as I loved being on that stage with Celtic.”
The highly-rated midfield anchor became the first Kenyan to represent the Bhoys after his 2011 switch to Celtic Park, and quickly became a fan favourite, choosing the squad number 67 on his arrival in honour of the 1967 European Cup winning ‘Lisbon Lions’.
Wanyama has plenty of experience in the Champions League, having netted the opener in Celtic’s stunning 2-1 group stage victory over Spanish giants Barcelona in 2012, with the tough tackler now focusing on helping his current employers reach a similar European platform.
“But we’ve had a fantastic season at Saints and I want to stay focused on helping the club qualify for Europe. Then we’ll see where I end up in the summer,” he continued.
Former Hoops bruiser Wanyama has made 34 appearances for Koeman’s Saints this season, picking up 10 bookings so far with his aggressive style of play, while also slotting in three goals from a deep position.
In a 1-0 away triumph over Hull City last November, after just three minutes, the defensively astute Kenyan struck one of the goals of the season, calmly slotting past Eldin Jakupovic from long-range, following up an earlier winner against Swansea City and a clinical finish in an 8-0 romp against Sunderland.
Wenger already boasts a variety of attacking midfield talent, but his holding options are limited, with Jack Wilshere continuously on the treatment table and Mikel Arteta nearing the latter stages of his career, with that pivotal midfield role falling upon the young shoulders of Francis Coquelin.
After a stunning season at Southampton, Wanyama has been valued at around £20m, a price-tag which Arsenal could happily meet to acquire the services of such a talented holding midfielder that would bring a great deal of balance, strength and composure to the Emirates.
Arsenal are aiming to capture back-to-back FA Cup crowns this year, having secured their first trophy in eight years in last season’s final victory over Hull, and are odds-on 3/10 to do so at Wembley.
Watch Wanyama’s amazing strike in a Premier League clash with Hull City last year.