Bench mystery: Explaining Victor Wanyama's absence at Montreal Impact

© CF Montreaal Impact

Bench mystery: Explaining Victor Wanyama's absence at Montreal Impact

Festus Chuma 17:00 - 09.09.2023

Former EPL standout and Kenyan trailblazer's sudden absence raises questions about his future in Montreal.

Former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama  has found himself on the bench for CF Montreal in recent matches, leaving fans and pundits puzzled about his absence.

Last Saturday, CF Montreal faced off against Columbus Crew in a thrilling match at the Sabuto Stadium, resulting in a 2-4 defeat for Montreal.

This marked the fourth consecutive game where Wanyama was conspicuously missing from the lineup, raising questions about his role within the team.

Wanyama, who is the team's lone Designated Player, has not seen action since the Leagues Cup, leaving many to speculate about the reasons behind his exclusion.

Montreal  coach Hernán Pablo Losada shed some light on the situation regarding Wanyama who joined the club three-years ago. 

 "It's difficult, but it's part of his job. It's not just about his on-field performance but also his off-field contributions. We've opted to field only one defensive midfielder, Samuel Piette, and when Victor was unavailable due to injury, Nathan Saliba stepped in and performed admirably," coach Losada said as per Northern Tribune.

This development has left fans wondering about the future of the 32-year-old midfielder, who renewed his contract with CF Montreal in January for a two-year extension, tying him to the club until the 2024 Major League Soccer season. 

His previous contract with Montreal had expired in December 2022, after a successful three-season stint at the club.

Wanyama's journey in Major League Soccer has been notable, amassing five goals and eight assists across 102 MLS games, with 78 of those as a starter.

He was a finalist for the club's most valuable player award in the previous season, demonstrating his impact and significance to the team.

Before joining Montreal, Victor Wanyama plied his trade in the English Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur. 

During his time with the North London club, he contributed six goals and one assist in 69 regular-season appearances and was a key part of the squad that reached the UEFA Champions League final in the 2018-19 season, marking a significant milestone in his career.

Wanyama's journey to the Premier League began with Southampton in 2013, where he became the first Kenyan player to grace the English Premier League, solidifying his status as a trailblazer in Kenyan football. 

Additionally, he enjoyed spells with Celtic, helping the Scottish giants secure league titles in 2012 and 2013.

Beyond the borders of the UK, Wanyama has also played professionally in Belgium, Sweden, and his home country, Kenya, showcasing his versatility and adaptability as a midfielder.

On the international stage, Victor Wanyama made a significant impact for the Kenyan national team, scoring seven goals in 64 appearances.