On the 18th August 2017, Tottenham announced the signing of central defender Davinson Sanchez from Ajax for a club-record fee with manager Mauricio Pochettino at the time seeking adequate competition for Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
In the Eredivisie, Sanchez had established himself as one of the most promising centre-backs in Europe and had attracted interest from Spanish giants Barcelona prior to his arrival at White Hart Lane (Cadena SER via Daily Mail).
WE HAVE FINALLY SIGNED A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. SOMEONE HOLD ME.
— Noz Ahmed (@NozAhmed) August 18, 2017
— Harry C (@HazSpur92) August 18, 2017
We were already getting the greatest stadium. Now we have the greatest Sanchez
— H U Khan (@Huk06) August 18, 2017
— Ant. (@AnthonyCOYS) August 18, 2017
— Hotspur World (@Hotspur_World) August 18, 2017
Announce winning the league
— Fe (@Felix_Spurs) August 18, 2017
Belting signing – good work Levy & Poch #COYS
— Luke Harvey (@thelukeharvey) August 18, 2017
And, given how Sanchez’s first campaign in England has gone, the excitement held by supporters when the Colombian was announced as a new signing has truly been justified.
With Alderweireld having struggled with injuries and his commitment to the club coming into question, it did not take long for Pochettino to throw Sanchez into his starting XI, and the Colombia international immediately repaid the faith put into him by the Tottenham manager.
After a string of consistent performances, Sanchez solidified his spot in central defence alongside Vertonghen, keeping out Alderweireld even when the Belgium international was fit enough to start games.
And Pochettino’s decision to continuously give Sanchez the nod ahead of Alderweireld was completely vindicated.
On paper, Alderweireld is the better centre-half out of the two and, at 29, the finished article compared to Sanchez, who can still look quite raw at times, which is understandable given his age.
However, under Pochettino, Sanchez is slowly developing into the complete defender, who looks to have truly bought into Pochettino’s long-term vision for the club following his recent contract extension.
The 22-year-old is capable of playing out of the back under pressure, dominant in the air and has the pace to make goal-preventing recovery tackles.
Sanchez still has areas of his game that need refining, but the Tottenham faithful can continue to be optimistic about the former Ajax man, as they were last August.