For fans of Glasgow Celtic, star signings can be quite a transient experience. If a player arrives in Scotland today, they are likely to be moved in within 12-24 months of their arrival if they impress. If they do not impress, they are likely loaned out and seen as a sunk cost.
Go back to the era of Martin O’Neill as Celtic manager, and the Bhoys were in the top 25 clubs in Europe for spending power – today, they struggle to break the top 100.
So, when a player does well at Celtic, they are often away from Parkhead far quicker than fans would want. A fine example of this comes in the form of ex-Tottenham and Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama. The Kenyan arrived at Celtic as a talented but raw midfielder, and in two years was turned into one of the most in-demand holding midfielders in Europe.
A return to Celtic Park has been mooted in the past, but the Kenyan decided instead to move to Major League Soccer with the Montreal Impact. Having made a huge impression in America, European eyes have again been trained on the veteran destroyer.
At only 30 years of age, injuries have slowed down Wanyama a touch but he would still likely be able to do a job in Scotland. With the current Celtic team lacking in physical strength and durability, then, the arrival of a properly well-drilled holding midfielder could be just what Ange Postecoglou is looking for.
And in a recent interview, Wanyama made clear that if he could take in one of his former clubs again it would be the Hoops.
What did Victor Wanyama say about returning to Celtic?
In an interview with Football Scotland, Wanyama said that he would love “one more go” with Celtic. He was heavily linked with a return before moving to MLS, when the manger who signed him, Neil Lennon, was still at Celtic. However, he might be happy he chose to move elsewhere at the time; the Bhoys suffered a meltdown and threw away what looked like a historic 10-in-a-row season.
Fans of the club have long bemoaned the desire for those at the top to move players on as soon as they show top level form. Fans also bemoan the lack of interest in bringing in proven, experienced players who can help their younger projects develop.
Wanyama, though, looks to be a player who would return to the club for a more favourable package. Speaking about the failed move and his hopes for a Parkhead reunion, Wanyama added: “I had a contract at Tottenham (and they were very difficult to let me go, the demands were very hard. Celtic was a club that I would love to play for again and again. It’s more than a club. I enjoyed my time there.
“I honestly want to come back and give it a last go because I love the club, the people there, the fans, just everything there was great. They give the players everything to go on the pitch and perform. Everything was just on top. There was a loan approach but I don’t know what happened. I didn’t follow it up that much.”
Whether the move ever happens is one thing, but it is pretty clear that while Wanyama left a huge impact on the Celts – so much so that fans want him back all these years later – the club clearly left an impact on him, too.