It seems like every transfer period since Mauricio Pochettino took over at Tottenham Hotspur the club are linked with at least on Southampton player. The player most often mentioned in these rumors is Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama, and, wouldn't you know it, those rumors are back. According to Matt Law over at the Telegraph, Spurs will turn to Wanyama to bolster their midfield as the former Celtic player is entering the final year of his contract.
Other than a striker, Pochettino wants another midfielder and is poised to make another attempt to sign Victor Wanyama from his former club Southampton.
Wanyama only has a year remaining on his Saints contract and has so far refused to sign a new one-year deal, which has encouraged Spurs that they may be able to land the 24-year-old.
Tottenham failed in a bid to sign Wanyama last summer, but Pochettino has remained a big fan of the player.
Other than trying to bolster the squad, Tottenham will sell Crystal Palace target Nabil Bentaleb and Federico Fazio, who has been on loan at Sevilla. Pochettino is also willing to listen to offers for Heung-Min Son, Nacer Chadli and Ryan Mason.
Last summer, Tottenham reportedly bid £20 million for Wanyama, but now, with only a year remaining on his contract, the price is sure to be considerably lower. However, purchasing Wanyama seems to make little sense for Spurs, particularly given his likely wage and playing time demands.
Certainly, Spurs need depth in midfield with a Champions League campaign coming up next season and quality backups in short supply, but buying a pure defensive midfielder like Wanyama offers little in the way of depth. The 24-year old would only be an alternative to Eric Dier, as a midfield of Dier and Wanyama would be woefully short on any sort of attacking impetus. What is much more important for Spurs is a player who can partner both Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier, covering either role in the heart of Spurs' midfield.
The problem is that purchasing Wanyama would still leave a big hole in Spurs' midfield, particularly if Law is correct and both Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason are sold this summer. Purchasing two fairly expensive midfielders, as opposed to one who can cover both midfield roles, just doesn't seem like a business proposition that Daniel Levy would be interested in. A player like Sebastian Rode, recently linked with Spurs by German newspaper Die Welt, would be able to fill both roles in the midfield, making him a better choice, even if he were more expensive. Also, there's the small matter of his move to Borussia Dortmund being all but confirmed.
Finally, if I'm being honest, Wanyama just isn't that good. I won't deny that he's a competent Premier League midfielder who has some Champions League experience, but he's also turning 25 this summer, entering his peak, and not a clear upgrade over the options Spurs have on hand. To spend a significant amount of money on a player only seen as a backup or a temporary stopgap just doesn't make sense. Wanyama's disciplinary record (three red cards last season) is also a little bit worrying.
At the end of the day, if Spurs buy Wanyama for less than 10 million, while also managing to move on some combination of Bentaleb, Mason, and Tom Carroll for a similar amount of money, I think I'll be fine with the move. A more expensive transfer, however, just doesn't seem to make much sense for Spurs.