Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama has been named in Tottenham Hotspur’s Uefa Champions League squad for the group stage matches slated for September 17 to December 11, 2019.
According to information published on the European Football governing body (Uefa) website on September 4, all the 32 teams competing at group stage have submitted their squads, including Tottenham, who were keen on offloading the Harambee Stars skipper.
Wanyama was expected to leave Spurs before the European summer transfer window closed on September 2.
But, that did not happen and he is on the list of midfielders the club plans to use, with others being Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko and new signings Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele.
The Kenyan skipper, whose progress has been hampered by injuries in the last two seasons, nearly joined Belgian side Club Brugge, but the deal fell through.
Reports indicate that Brugge and Spurs had agreed on a Sh1.5 billion transfer fee. Wanyama had even agreed personal terms with Brugge.
“The deal was delayed initially because Wanyama first wanted to consult with his family in Kenya about moving to Belgium,” Sport Witness reported recently.
It added, “Once he received his family’s blessing, the club wanted to fly him to Brugge to complete the deal, but Wanyama was nervous about flying across the Channel after what happened to Emiliano Sala, and opted to take the train instead. But then Daniel Levy got involved, and that’s when things really went off the rails. The Tottenham chairman apparently tried to get Brugge to commit to paying some funds that Tottenham still owed to Vic, which Brugge balked at. Wanyama then tried to change the conditions of his personal terms, and Brugge backed away.”
Wanyama also interested former employers Celtic in Scotland, but deal did materialise. He hasn’t featured for Spurs this season after he reported irritation in his knee early this month.
Wanyama, who is set to miss Kenya’s international friendly match against Uganda in Nairobi on September 8, was on the bench during Spurs' opening match against Aston Villa on August 10.
He was omitted completely against Newcastle (August 25) and Arsenal (September 1) amid transfer rumours, but his failure to leave the club could see him feature in future matches before the January transfer window.
He will, however, have to work extra hard to get into Mauricio Pochettino's match-day squad after dropping down the pecking order.
In the Champions League, Spurs will face off with German giants Bayern Munich as well as Olympiacos (Greece) and Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) in Group ‘B’.
Tottenham Champions League squad:
Hugo Lloris, Paulo Gazzaniga, Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker-Peters, Serge Aurier, Ben Davies, Heung-Min Son, Harry Winks, Erik Lamela, Victor Wanyama, Moussa Sissoko, Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura, Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Kane, Troy Parrott.