By Otieno Otieno
For a player who started playing professional football less than three years ago, Kenyan international Victor Wanyama has achieved what players double his age can only dream about.
This week, Wanyama bagged the prestigious Scottish Young Player of the Year award adding on to his Celtic Young Player of the Year honor which he bagged three weeks ago.
The award was in recognition of Wanyama's fine form that has seen him win two Scottish Premier League (SPL) titles with Celtic.
But the highlight of Wanyama's career was scoring against former European champions Barcelona during a UEFA group match which his club won 2-1 in the group stages.
Even though Celtic did not make it past the group stages of the Uefa Champions League, Wanyama built his career and how now become a target of top European clubs.
“I just wanted to try and have a good season, to try to top my goals from last season.
“I only got 11 last season, which is poor, especially for my record of previous seasons, so to get near the 30 mark that was what I was aiming for,” Wanyama told BBC Scotland after receiving his latest award.
Wanyama could also end up with the Scottish Cup when Celtic meets Hibs in the final on May 26 to complete a double for his club.
CROWNED | The award was in recognition of Wanyama's fine form that has seen him win two Scottish Premier League (SPL) titles with Celtic.
On his way to winning the two awards, Wanyama made 49 appearances for Celtic. Wanyama joined Celtic two years ago from Belgian side Bierschott. Before that he played for Nairobi City Stars and AFC Leopards in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL).
His transfer fees to Bierschott was Sh55 million. His sterling season at Celtic created a lot of interest for his signature with top English sides like Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all said to be interested in signing him come the July transfer window.
But Celtic coach Neil Lennon has vowed to do everything in his power to keep the Kenyan midfielder at the club next season.
It remains to be seen whether Lennon will succeed to convince the soft-speaking Wanyama to stay at Celtic for another season and forfeit a one in a life time opportunity to play in the more popular English Premier League (EPL).
Wanyama is the brother of another Kenyan international Macdonald Mariga who made history by becoming the first Kenyan to play in the Italian Serie ‘A’ when he was signed by Parma five years ago.
Mariga, who later moved to Inter-Milan when they won the Uefa Champions League in 2010, is back at Parma but has been sidelined due to injury.
The two are the sons of former Kenyan international Noah Wanyama and have appeared to have taken after their father’s roots.