Tottenham must start Wanyama to guarantee FA Cup victory

Victor Wanyama is back in full training for Tottenham Hotspur and should be in line to start against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup this weekend.

The Kenya international has struggled for fitness this season and has played just four times in the Premier League; he was last seen in a Spurs shirt in November, playing 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

On the chalkboard

Wanyama has been something of a conundrum for Mauricio Pochettino, such has been his fitness issues.

Signed for a mere £11m, per BBC, Wanyama enjoyed a phenomenal debut season, playing 36 times in the Premier League and even scoring four goals, per Transfermarkt.

Spurs finally appeared to have a midfield destroyer they could rely on, after misfiring with the likes of Etienne Capoue, Benjamin Stambouli and Paulinho.

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However, Wanyama played exactly half of those games in the league the following season, struggling with cartilage damage and being restricted to 18 appearances in the top-flight.

His latest injury setback is over now, though, and Pochettino should unleash him against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Indeed, Wanyama has played well whenever relied upon by his manager this season; against Palace previously, according to WhoScored, Wanyama recorded two interceptions, made one tackle, had a pass success rate of 80 per cent and also won one aerial battle, while completing one cross in a complete midfield display. 

A league of his own

Spurs do not have another player with the skillset of Wanyama.

Eric Dier is perhaps the closest they come in their squad to a midfield destroyer, but he does not have the mobility nor the technical prowess of Wanyama.

The former Southampton man is equally adept at rampaging forward as he is at sitting in front of the defence, recycling possession, and he is a nightmare for opposition midfielders.

He continually tracks runs, makes interceptions, and starts counter-attacks, while he also scored a goal of the season contender last season, thundering home a 35-yard bullet against Liverpool.

If Spurs want to be sure of their progress against Palace in a tricky London derby, they should deploy Wanyama alongside Harry Winks in midfield.

That would allow Winks to roam slightly further forward and keep Spurs ticking in the final third, without having to continuously double back to cover for his team-mates.

Plus, against the likes of Cheikhou Kouyate and Luka Milivojevic, Spurs need someone with the presence to dominate the middle of the park; Wanyama offers those attributes in spades.

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