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What will 21-year-old Davinson Sanchez bring to Tottenham Hotspur?

The Boot Room



Davinson Sanchez

Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a club-record fee with Dutch giants Ajax for the transfer of Colombian international defender Davinson Sanchez, subject to a medical and a work permit, according to BBC Sport.

The initial fee is set to be at around £28 million, with £14 million being paid in performance-related bonuses, as The Guardian report.

The 21-year-old was the Amsterdam club’s player of the season last campaign after fine performances both domestically and on the European stage in the Europa League, where they reached their first continental final since 1996, losing to Premier League outfit Manchester United.

Tottenham have endured a testing transfer window having lost Kyle Walker to Manchester City for a £50 million fee. They have since failed to bring in any new players, citing concerns for their depth and putting doubts on their challenge for the title and progress in the Champions League.

Sanchez was also reported, as per the Daily Mail, to be of interest to Barcelona and Inter Milan, but Spurs’ offer is the first concrete one and he is set to complete a move to North London, where he will play alongside two former Ajax defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, as well as Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen.

He was a key asset to the side that made major strides under Peter Bosz, last season. Following the Ajax model, which requires a famous brand of attacking, possession-based football, he was influential in the defensive half of the pitch. Despite standing at six feet, one inch tall, he was a major threat in set-piece situations with his drive and desire causing problems in the opposition box.

That adds to Spurs’ dominance in the box in both halves of the pitch. They were imposing enough with players like the aforementioned Vertonghen and Alderweireld, but with the addition of Sanchez, they are sure to add to their 20 goals from set-pieces from last season.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has a ready-made player in Davinson Sanchez as the Colombian’s traits match his ethos. The defender was one of the best passers in the Eredivisie last season, completing 89% of his passes, and is a key link between defence and attack.

Wide players are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of his arrival, and with Pochettino’s extended use of wing-backs, Tottenham are set to receive an attacking threat from their own back-line. Sanchez is able to switch play quickly, and at Ajax it was the wingers, Amin Younes and Bertrand Traore, who were given more time on the ball and freedom to express themselves out wide, thanks to the quality often displayed by the man at the back.

Perhaps his greatest asset is his strength and speed, which is what has made him such a sought-after figure over the course of the transfer window. He is able to track back quickly if he is beaten for speed and once he does track his man down, he out-muscles them with immense force, shrugging the attacker of the ball fairly and with relative ease.

This was evident in the Europa League final against Manchester United. Marcus Rashford was well clear of him and through on goal, but was interrupted by a chasing, albeit fully-focused, Sanchez.

He is likely to be playing alongside Alderweireld and Vertonghen in a system that proved largely successful for Pochettino. Courtesy of their composure and control in defence, the three together will bring solidity at the back, while offering greater rigidity and speed, which is sure to strengthen the Lilywhite’s game.

Perhaps Sanchez’ biggest criticism is his occasional recklessness. However, that can improve with age and will be aided to by Mauricio Pochettino. He received six yellow cards in the Eredivisie and Europa League last season, mostly for his urgency to rush into tackles, and with the Premier League’s highly volatile refereeing, these sorts of actions won’t go down well with the Tottenham faithful.

It is essential that he maintains his composure when going into the challenge, to avoid spending more time out on the side-lines than his talent deserves.

Another criticism of him could be his failure to cut out well-worked team moves involving several players, which once again, can only get better with age. It is the quick passing moves or the slick skills that catch him out occasionally and either leave him for dead and create a huge gap in defence, or force him in to making a rash, unneeded challenge.

Just recently in a Champions League qualifier against Nice, it was Mario Balotelli who caused him a lot of trouble and helped create several scoring chances for the French side.

What Tottenham are getting in him is a fantastic centre-half who can last the test of time, considering his tender age. Filled with potential to be the best centre half in the league, they are adding an excellent player to their ranks – one who will certainly boost their chances in the Premier League and the Champions League.

Spurs’ recent signings from Ajax are now crucial members of their squad and they will hope that Davinson Sanchez has an equally huge impact in North London.

The Boot Room is a football analysis website, bringing original and creative content to the fans of the English Football League.

Real Madrid

Tottenham should sign Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic in a heartbeat

The 24-year-old has a £44 million release clause in his contract.



Mateo Kovacic
Photo: Getty Images

Mateo Kovacic has revealed he wants to leave Real Madrid this summer and move to a club where he can “play regularly”.

Speaking exclusively to Spanish outlet Marca, he said: “In another club I’ll have the chance to play regularly as a starter. It’s an opportunity that I have & that I want right now.”

According to TuttoMercatoWeb, Tottenham‘s name stands out among the clubs that have positioned themselves to sign want-away Croatian, who has a release clause of 50 million euros (£44m).

Lots has been made of Toby Alderweireld‘s future at White Hart Lane but, in actual fact, central midfield is the area requiring the most attention this summer.

Supporters will go into next season with full faith that Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez can do a job in the middle of defence, with or without the former Atletico man.

Meanwhile, speculation surrounding Mousa Dembele’s future – he has been linked with a move to both Inter Milan and China – would leave Pochettino in search of  a new central midfielder.

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Spurs are being linked with a number of names to fill the position, but Kovacic’s is undoubtedy one of the best options among them.

Replacing Dembele with the 24-year-old Croatian international would be no bad move.

Just like the Belgian, Kovacic is a player who thrives in a box-to-box role, providing both power and the ability to pick out a pass – he is the perfect player for Pochettino’s system.

He is a player Spurs fans would love to see at White Hart Lane and the club has reportedly shown formal interest in him before (Sportske Novosti) – a long-term target, who is now very available.

The Croatian finds himself in the same situation for his country as he does at Real Madrid: restricted to substitute appearances behind a midfield bursting with quality.

Nonetheless, this is not a reflection of his own ability and Spurs could offer him the chance of regular first team football under a manager known for his ability to ensure player progression.

£44 million for the youngster’s signature would be a relative bargain considering his current ability, but more importantly his potential. He is a player Levy should snap up in a heartbeat.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham round-up: Kovacic available, Son’s tears and Kane heroics

All the latest news and gossip from Tottenham Hotspur.

Mathew Nash



Kovacic come-and-get-me plea

Spurs are said to be interested in Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic. As reported by The Sun, among several other outlets, the Croatian has made it clear he wants to leave Real Madrid in search of more regular first-team football.

He has a £44 million release clause and has also been linked with Manchester United.

Sonny’s tears

Tottenham attacker Heung-min Son has admitted breaking down in tears in front of the South Korea president after defeat to Mexico this week.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Son scored a stunning goal in the game, but it proved to be nothing but a consolation for the attacker and his nation. They lost the game 2-1 and, when speaking with the leader of his nation after the game, Son could not contain his emotions. As reported by The Mirror, the Tottenham forward stated he ‘couldn’t stop crying’ after the game.

Harry hat-trick

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was one of the heroes as England thrashed Panama at the World Cup this afternoon. The England and Spurs striker scored a hat-trick for England in a 6-1 win. He netted two brilliant penalties, before deflecting Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s effort off his heel and into the net.

Kieran Trippier put in another fantastic performance whilst Eric Dier was an unused substitute and Dele Alli missed the game with a thigh problem.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham could be set to make £23 million mistake with Alassane Plea



Photo: Getty Images.

The role of a back-up striker is one which continues to prove problematic for Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham Hotspur. Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente are the most recent new members to try, and fail, to satisfy fans as an alternative to Harry Kane, but now a new figure could enter the club.

The Sun say that Spurs may make a £23 million move for OGC Nice striker Alassan Plea to rotate and compete with the England captain, but to invest such a fee may just be throwing money down the drain.

At first glance, you may think that his record is impressive enough to put him into contention. 21 goals in 48 games in 2017/18 isn’t bad after all.

Fairly quick and a keen dribbler of the ball, drifting wide and cutting inside at times, he would clearly offer an alternative to Kane.

(Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

However, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned too. At 25-years-old he should be approaching the peak of his career, but with only two and a half years of top flight experience he lacks the maturity that some other players at that age possess.

That alone is not a reason to be put off, but his scoring record has not always been so consistent and it does bring back echoes of Vincent Janssen, who joined at a younger age but with three full seasons of first division football in Holland, being prolific in all three.

The other major area for concern is that Plea is not the hardest working, often reluctant to press and defend from the front or drop back when required as Harry Kane is only too keen to do. In Pochettino’s set-up, that could prove problematic.

Daniel Levy clearly has his sights set on resolving this problem yet again after Llorente failed to provide all that Spurs were looking for, but he may be left feeling that he could get more for his money than by gambling on Plea.

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