If Celtic fans have been casting their eye across the pond at the MLS in recent times, then they might have seen a very familiar face in Victor Wanyama.
The Kenya international was of course on the books at Parkhead for a number of seasons having been signed by Neil Lennon back in 2011.
The then 20-year-old almost immediately endeared himself into the hearts of Celtic supporters when he paid tribute to the Lisbon Lions at his unveiling, saying: “It has always been a dream of mine to play for a club like Celtic. After reading the club’s history, I have chosen 67 as my squad number to show appreciation to the 1967 squad.”
Wanyama would make 91 appearances in total for the Hoops during his spell in Scotland, scoring 13 goals and providing nine assists too – his most famous strike of course being the one against Barcelona in the Champions League when Celtic pulled off the unthinkable in beating the European giants.
The Kenyan’s tough-tackling nature and ability to drive forward from box-to-box saw him nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2012/13, and it was no surprise to see him attract admiring glances from south of the border.
Sold to Premier League side Southampton for a fee around £12m, Wanyama went on to make 97 appearances in all competitions for the Saints, netting four goals in total and helping the club achieve three top-eight finishes in the Premier League.
That then earned him a move to Tottenham where he would make the exact same amount of outings, but his time in north London ended rather acrimoniously.
He would then later say: “I was frustrated and when I came back from injury I didn’t get enough chances to play and enjoy my football.When I came back, the club should have trusted me and given me more chances to play again.
“I was fit and training well. I never argued with Pochettino but I wanted to speak to him. I went to his office but he was busy. I saw his assistant Jesus (Perez). He told me be to be patient, that my chance would come blah, blah, blah. I didn’t go to see them again. That’s why I left the club. I’m a football player and I wanted to play football.”
Since arriving in the MLS on a free transfer back in March 2020, things haven’t quite worked out for the Kenya international.
Montreal lost in the play-in round in his first year at the club, having finished ninth in the Eastern Conference (out of 14), and 18th overall (out of 28).
Then just last season, Wanyama’s side fared even worse, finishing tenth in the conference and thereby missing even the play-in bracket, let alone finding themselves in the play-off proper or even making a run for the MLS title.
To think that just a few years ago, Wanyama was shining on the global stage by helping to beat Barcelona, then playing Premier League football with the likes of Southampton and Tottenham.
Now, Transfermarkt see his value down at just £4.5m, and it paints a real picture of how his career has panned out.
Things have gone downhill for the 6 foot midfield machine, and it’s safe to say Celtic played a blinder by cashing in on him at the right time.