The Chalkboard: Wanyama display vs Huddersfield hints at return to his best

Victor Wanyama may be back to his best.

The Kenya international was in imperious form on Saturday as Tottenham Hotspur thumped Huddersfield Town 4-0, just four days before their Champions League quarter-final second leg clash with Manchester City.

On the chalkboard

Wanyama is a truly excellent midfield player when at his best.

He is not, however, usually a goalscorer. But on Saturday, he opened the scoring in a straightforward victory, collecting a Fernando Llorente knock-down, skipping past a defender’s challenge and the goalkeeper and slotting home.

His goal was really the cherry on top of a particularly tasty cake in midfield.

Per WhoScored, Wanyama touched the ball 87 times and boasted a pass completion rate of 88%.

A fearsome operator when in full flight, Wanyama also completed two dribbles against a Huddersfield midfield that genuinely looks as though it might struggle to compete in the Championship.

He also completed four tackles, showing that regardless of the quality of the opposition he will never neglect his defensive responsibilities.

Huddersfield, of course, are cannon fodder for the best teams in England but there were numerous signs in the Kenyan’s display that he is almost back to his best.

A weight lifted

Spurs need midfielders.

Harry Winks missed out on the encounter against the Terriers through injury, while Alli may have broken his hand in the first leg against City. Eric Dier also remains on the treatment table with a hip injury.

Spurs’ reserves are so depleted that when manager Mauricio Pochettino wanted to give a rest to the iron-lunged Moussa Sissoko, he was forced to bring on Oliver Skipp, a talented youngster who played in the first test event at the new stadium, for the club’s Under-18 team.

Wanyama’s return, then, is manna from heaven for a team who are still fighting on two fronts.

It remains to be seen if he will be trusted to play again on Wednesday when Spurs visit City, hoping to seal qualification to their first Champions League semi-final in a generation, but Pochettino will be thanking his lucky stars that he even has the option to select him.