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Victor Wanyama talks frustration over minutes at Tottenham, failed transfer to Club Brugge

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The midfielder also talked about Mauricio Pochettino’s tenure at Tottenham

CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal - Montreal Impact against CD Olimpia Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Victor Wanyama spoke again about his frustration towards the end of his Tottenham Hotspur career, this time also discussing Spurs’ run to the Champions League final last season.

In an interview with The Athletic, Wanyama again insisted that the club did not give him a fair shot returning from a consistent knee injury. He spent a number of months injured from 2017 to 2019 with knee injuries, and said his issues with the club handling those injuries built up over time. Though he said he enjoyed a strong relationship with then manager Mauricio Pochettino after first working together at Southampton, he recalled a specific incident when Pochettino was too busy, so he spoke to assistant Jesús Pérez.

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 (manager Mauricio) 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 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. I love Spurs, but I love playing football more.

It is unclear when exactly this incident took place, though Wanyama’s last long spell out with a knee injury ended at the start of 2019. He eventually got a shot to work himself back into the team, playing 529 minutes in 11 matches in April and May, including significant minutes against Manchester City and Ajax in the Champions League. He played 90 minutes in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester City, something he was hard — it was his second 90 minute match in four days after months without a start.

Wanyama also said that after staring against City and then the first leg against Ajax, he was “pissed off” not to start the Champions League final against Liverpool and was again “pissed off” about the result. He said losing the final “hurt us hard.” In particular, that was the case for Pochettino, Wanyama noted.

I’d seen Pochettino leave before (when he left Southampton in 2014), but this was time it was different. Defeat in Madrid hurt us hard but especially Pochettino. I think he probably felt he had taken Spurs as far as he could.”

Wanyama also said that his attempt to leave Tottenham ahead of the 2019-20 season for Club Brugge fell through, in his eyes because “Spurs wanted too much money.”

This follows up an interview Wanyama gave to the CBC in Canada, where he said he continued to have issues gaining match fitness after Pochettino left.