Tottenham were quiet until the latter stages of the transfer window, but they made it count with some excellent additions that improved their squad. They managed to improve their defence and add more depth to the squad, which was crucial if they were to challenge for major trophies. Davinson Sanchez arrived with huge potential after an excellent debut campaign in European football at Ajax. There are few better young defenders in football and he will benefit hugely from the coaching of Mauricio Pochettino. However, he is far from a player for the future, as he has already made an impact in the first-team.
It has only been three Premier League matches and it is too soon to get carried away, but Sanchez looks to be the addition to take Tottenham’s defence to a whole new level. They were already one of the best in the league and they have managed to get even better, with the signing of the Colombian allowing Eric Dier to move into midfield on a permanent basis. The England international needed to settle on one position to focus on if he was to reach his full potential, therefore the move for Sanchez has plenty of positives to it.
Pochettino likes to have centre-backs that are comfortable in possession and capable of launching attacks from deep. This makes the team quicker and more effective in transition. Sanchez will have benefitted from a year at Ajax, as the Dutch club are famous for producing ball-playing defenders. Spurs will attest to that as they now have three centre-backs that learned their trade in Amsterdam. The Colombian international has averaged 91% pass accuracy and looks to be positive in possession. As he continues to adjust, his influence on the ball will improve.
The Premier League is a physical league and that can be the most difficult thing to get to grips with, especially when arriving from the Eredivisie. In Holland, the focus is one a technical style rather than physicality, but Sanchez was an exception. He is an incredible athlete, with strength and power. The centre-back was always going to be able to get to grips with the English game, but the pace at which he has adapted will come as a surprise to even his biggest advocates. It is a smaller sample, but he has won more aerial duels (62.5%) than Toby Alderweireld (31.82%) and that is highly impressive.
Sanchez is a good reader of the game and he has a football intelligence that belies his age. He averages 1.46 interceptions per ninety minutes and he is an aggressive defender that always looks to regain possession for his team. Pochettino will have seen him as the perfect addition for the 3-4-2-1 formation and early evidence suggests he is right.
At the age of 21, he has scary potential and his development will be rapid now he is a regular starter for a top-six Premier League team. There were some that looked at the fee of £42 million and saw it has a huge gamble, but Spurs had done their scouting and it is already looking to be a great deal for the club. Barcelona had been heavily linked with a move and it was a coup that Tottenham managed to bring him to North London. If he continues to progress, he could become one of the best defenders in Europe and he is certainly playing under the right coach to bring him to this level. Sanchez is a player to follow and Tottenham will be stronger for his addition.