Southampton manager Ronald Koeman insists Victor Wanyama has shown a “real focus” since he was denied his wish to leave before the end of the transfer window.
Wanyama, who was lured to St Mary’s Stadium by current Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, was a star performer as Southampton finished seventh in the Premier League last season.
And despite the recent uncertainty over Wanyama’s future amid strong reported interest from Spurs, the Dutchman feels the Kenya international is fully committed to Southampton.
“You like to keep the important players who can make the difference and Victor’s back with a real focus,” he said.
“I spoke to Victor [on Wednesday] and he was really different than he was in the last week of the window.
“He wanted a move but he has stayed, and he understands the situation and it is possible he will play against West Brom [on Saturday].
“It was a hard fight but I think our statement was very clear to everybody that there was nobody for sale at that time.”
While Koeman managed to keep hold of Wanyama, Virgil van Dijk arrived in a deadline-day move from Celtic.
And Koeman is tipping the defender to make an impact in English football.
“The player is very proud to be part of Southampton, and he will give the other defenders really good competition,” he said.
“Virjil’s strength is playing from the back and he’s part of a team now that like to dominate. It’s not always possible – but we like to have the ball in our control.
“The Premier League is the next step up, but he has experience of playing in the Champions League, and he is still only 24, so I believe he will develop.”