Victor Wanyama has no regrets over swapping Celtic for Southampton

Wanyama has no regrets about giving up Champions League football. Photo: PA

Victor Wanyama does not regret swapping Celtic for Southampton, despite seeing his former club handed a dream Champions League draw.

After two fantastic years in Glasgow, the highly-rated 22-year-old headed south of the border in July for a Scottish record fee of £12.5million.

The move capped an incredible rise for the Kenyan, whose superb display in the famous 2-1 win over Barcelona was undoubtedly the highlight of his time at Parkhead.

Celtic again face the Spanish giants in this year's Champions League group stage, which also sees Celtic face mouth-watering matches with AC Milan and Ajax.

So, with such glamour ties coming up, would Wanyama preferred to have stayed on an extra year in Glasgow?

"No, obviously Champions League they are good games, but it was time for me also to move on," he said.

"I will be just looking forward to support them.

"I believe one day [Champions League football is achievable at Southampton]. Everything step by step and I believe one day we will be also there."

Wanyama's Celtic departure during the summer looked inevitable, although Southampton did not always look like it would be his destination.

Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Cardiff were all linked with the powerful midfielder, but it was Saints that were given permission to speak to him.

Initial talks broke down following suggestions of issues with his representatives, but the impasse in discussions was finally broken and he penned a four-year deal.

"It was my decision after meeting with the chairman and the manager," said Wanyama, whose brother McDonald Mariga plays for Parma in Serie A.

"I was just happy with the things they were telling me and that's why I chose Southampton.

"The ambition of the club they had and I was just happy to come and join them.

"It has been a little bit easier to get used to the change, because the teammates here have been really helpful and it has been easy for me to settle in."

Southampton have so far struggled with consistency in their second season back in the top flight.

An opening day win at West Brom was the perfect start, yet it was followed up by a home draw with Sunderland and a loss against Norwich.

Mauricio Pochettino's side line-up next line-up against West Ham, whose physicality would seem to make this an ideal game for Wanyama.

"I think it is going to be a hard game, but we are ready for it and looking forward to the challenge," he said of Sunday's match at St Mary's.

"We have been working hard and we had some good results, and also some bad ones, but I think we are still on track and looking forward to doing well.

"I would say first is to just do better than last season and from there we will see what happens. I think that is possible."

For now, though, Wanyama is just happy playing Premier League football - becoming the first Kenyan to do so in the process.

"I also represent my country here," he said.

"It has been my dream to play in the Premiership and that was since I was small.

"Reaching here it has not been easy, so I am happy to be here and just looking forward to doing well with Southampton.

"People back home they have really always supported me and they are behind me because they follow the Premier League so much, so they are looking forward also to watch me play."

That interest back home is already apparent, with Wanyama spotting a number of Southampton shirts when he returned to Kenya this past fortnight for international duty.

"I've never seen that before," he said. "It was a little bit surprising.

"That makes me also happy to see some people back home they are supporting me and also the team.

"I think now if Southampton are playing and it's on TV, they forget about Manchester and Arsenal and better clubs."