Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly signed centre-back Davinson Sánchez from Ajax, who helped the team from the Netherlands reach second place in the Eredivisie last season, attracting attention from top European clubs such as Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
It is Spurs however who seem to have scooped up the Columbian with a deal in the region of £40m, providing he passes the medical and is granted a work permit.
Sánchez is now Tottenham’s record signing, the hefty fee surpassing the £30m payed for Moussa Sissoko nearly a year ago. Fans have been restlessly waiting for the first signing of the summer transfer window, but a new centre-back is perhaps not what was expected, especially considering Spurs held the best defensive record in the Premier League last season with arguably one of the best centre-pack pairings in the whole of Europe.
This signing could mean two things for Tottenham. Firstly, and a tad concerning for fans, if contract negotiations aren’t going to plan with Toby Alderweireld, Sánchez may be the Belgian’s replacement.
However, the more probable reason for the arrival of the 21-year-old is so Spurs can switch to a permanent and more effective “back three” and play full-backs Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose/Ben Davies in wider attacking positions. This could prove particularly useful at their temporary home ground of Wembley, noted for having a wider playing surface than the now demolished White Hart Lane.
Those who watched the Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax will have caught a glimpse of Sánchez in action as he put in a commendable performance despite losing the match. Watching him play, you get the immediate impression that he has a playing style which would fit in perfectly with Mauricio Pochettino’s team.
At such a young age, Sánchez shows remarkable ability to read the game and cleverly intercept passes at crucial times, as well as put in sometimes goal saving tackles. His physical presence does not go unnoticed either, with impressive strength often preventing strikers from getting a shot away in the first place.
Even more useful in Spurs’ team, Sánchez presents more opportunities to attack from the back with intelligent long passes being one of the youthful Columbian’s specialities. Along with this, the desire to make surging runs forward makes him a beneficial addition to the squad.
Ajax’s player of last season, Davinson Sánchez has signed a six-year contract with the north London club and could be the first of a few signings lined up for Tottenham, even at this late stage in the transfer window, with Mauricio Pochettino expressing his frustration at the lack of activity in the market. Ross Barkley may yet still be one of these signings if Everton were to lower their £30m asking price.
Written by Harry Mahon.