English Premier League clubs Liverpool, Stoke and Queens Park Rangers are rumoured to be chasing the signature of Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama.
The 21-year-old Kenyan international joined Celtic in July 2011 and has been a revelation for Neil Lennon's side since he made his debut appearance for the club.
Liverpool did not live up to expectations last season and finished a disappointing eighth in the final standings. Much of Liverpool's problems stemmed from the fact that goals were hard to come by and save for Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, the rest of the Liverpool strikers were blunt in attack.
It can be argued that the deficiency of goals was a result of an ineffective midfield with the consequent effect being a shortage in supply of quality balls to the strikers.
Wanyama plays as a defensive midfielder or centre back at Celtic but it is primarily in the defensive midfield role that Brendan Rodgers would want to deploy him. Since the departure of Javier Mascherano to Barcelona, that position has been an achilles heel to the Reds and the club has failed to find a replacement, an effective defensive midfielder who can act as a fulcrum of the club's attacks.
With the expected return to fitness of Lucas Leiva, who until his injury had been a essential component of the Liverpool midfield, its coach Brendan Rodgers has been in the market looking for a quality midfielder. Wanyama would fit perfectly into the formation preferred by Rodgers that consists of attractive passing football with emphasis on ball retention and dominant midfield play.
Leon Britton under the tutelage of Rodgers at Swansea was the club's standout performer in the midfield. On average Britton completed about 100 passes per game and had an impressive pass rate success of 93%.
If Liverpool were to sign Wanyama he would be expected to play a similar role as performed by Britton for the Swans last season. This would require him to consistently be the focal point for Liverpool attacks from the midfield while protecting the back four from opposition forays. With Steven Gerrard also forming part of this midfield one would expect Liverpool to give a better account of themselves next season.
For Wanyama, joining the English Premier League will be a step up career wise. He performed remarkably well last season giving commanding performances in the Celtic midfield. He can also score goals after netting four times for the Celts despite his natural position being just ahead of the back four. Wanyama is also gifted with a keen eye and an intelligent mind and will no doubt be an excellent acquisition for Rodgers and Liverpool,
The asking price for Wanyama is expected to be in the region of about £7 million which on the basis of his performances this season would be a reasonable investment. Neil Lennon the Celtic head honcho is said to be upset at the suggestion that Wanyama may leave the club which in itself is a good pointer as to the player's capabilities.
With his confident approach to the game, on the ball composure and excellent distribution qualitiesWanyama will fit well into the Liverpool formation. It is also rumoured that Liverpool are eyeing Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge and Roma striker Fabio Borini which is a clear statement of intent that Liverpool want to reclaim their position in the 'big four' next season.
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