In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, John Hartson has suggested that the Parkhead crowd would like to see Tottenham Hotspur’s Victor Wanyama re-sign for the club.
The midfield enforcer’s performances in Scotland convinced Southampton to sign him in 2013 and he eventually followed Mauricio Pochettino to Spurs in 2016.
Alongside the ever creative Mousa Dembele, Wanyama established a thriving partnership in the heart of midfield and continued to follow a path of exponential development.
But injuries have derailed his career and he now finds himself firmly on the fringes of the senior squad in north London. A permanent move to Club Brugge collapsed in the summer but interest from Celtic was also reported during the window.
When asked about the prospect of the Kenya international returning to Celtic, Hartson suggested that there is a caveat worth considering despite his obvious talent.
“I think the crowd would like to see him go back. He’s a quality player and Celtic could do with quality players.
“He’s a very good midfielder but Celtic have got good midfield players. They’ve got a collection at their disposal and they can only play four. Does it upset the balance if you bring in Wanyama all of a sudden?
“There’s a few clubs who will be interested in Wanyama. He’s big, he’s solid, he’s reliable, he’s a physical presence in both boxes.
“He’s a very, very good player and that’s why he’s playing for one of the top four clubs.”
With the likes of Scott Brown, Oliver Ntcham, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic all competing for a place in the heart of midfield, it’s easy to appreciate Hartson’s concern over how Wanyama’s arrival could impact the squad.
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Competition for places is generally perceived as a necessary ingredient for success, but a player of Wanyama’s pedigree is likely to expect a regular spot in the starting XI and that entitlement could serve to unsettle what appears to be a positive atmosphere at the club.
What could work in the Spurs enforcer’s favour, however, is the fact he can offer a level of defensive protection only rivalled by Brown.
The 28-year-old’s glowing reputation among the supporters will naturally have them endorsing a potential move to re-sign him but, as Hartson says, there is another layer for Neil Lennon and the club’s decision makers to consider regarding the balance of the squad.