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‘Solid Performance’ – Davinson Sanchez gives Tottenham reason not to fear Toby Alderweireld exit

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Tottenham Hotspur

‘Solid Performance’ – Davinson Sanchez gives Tottenham reason not to fear Toby Alderweireld exit

The 21-year-old put in a fine defensive display against London rivals Chelsea.

Tottenham managed to win at Stamford Bridge for the first time in the Premier League era as they came from a goal down to win 3-1 against Chelsea. It was a hugely important victory as it has seen them move eight points above their top-six rivals and another year of Champions League football now looks increasingly likely. To continue their progression under Mauricio Pochettino, it is important to be fixtures in Europe’s premier competition and they look set to qualify for the third successive season.

Dele Alli was the undoubted star of the match as he scored a brace to give his team the three points in the second half. However, Tottenham were very good in every department and looked a solid unit throughout the ninety minutes. The centre-back pairing of Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen continues to improve with both delivering good displays against Chelsea.

They made a combined 12 ball recoveries and 16 clearances to keep Chelsea to only one goal. Their positioning was spot on throughout and it was clear that they have managed to develop a good understanding throughout this season. There have been times when Sanchez has looked inexperienced, but he has learned from his mistakes and has the makings of an elite centre-back. It will be invaluable for him to learn from Vertonghen who has been one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League since arriving on these shores.

In addition to being dependable at the back, both defenders managed to contribute in possession and are the perfect players for Pochettino’s system. The Argentine coach wants to have 11 players that are comfortable with the ball at their feet, so the team can build from deep and use the defenders to launch attacks. Vertonghen (88%) and Sanchez (90%) both ended the match with high pass completion rates.

One question that has been hanging over Tottenham this season has been regarding the future of Toby Alderweireld. There have been rumours about his long-term future, with the most recent report coming from the Mirror over the weekend. They reported that Chelsea were keen to win the race to sign the Belgian, but they will face competition from Barcelona and Manchester United, who will be expected to fork out around £55 million.

This isn’t the first report linking him with a move away from Tottenham and it won’t be the last. It is clear that something isn’t right behind the scenes and Alderweireld’s lack of game time is evidence of that. The defender hasn’t featured in the Premier League since October. The major reason for this has been injury related, but Pochettino doesn’t seem in a rush to get him the Belgian international back into the starting eleven.

The victory over Chelsea was significant for Alderweireld, as it showed that the team could win big matches without him. Furthermore, it was interesting to note that Harry Kane was brought back from injury quickly and featured at Stamford Bridge ahead of schedule.

Pochettino has regularly spoken about not rushing Alderweireld back from injury, but he seems more willing to bring Kane back as quickly as possible. Admittedly, the striker’s injury wasn’t as serious, but it is interesting to note nonetheless.

It would have been a controversial opinion to suggest Tottenham could cope without Alderweireld a year ago, but his potential exit is now looking less ominous for the club. The win over Chelsea showed that he isn’t as integral as many thought he was before his injury.

His omission from the starting eleven was supported by many Tottenham supporters:

Although there were some that disagreed with his treatment:


The performance of the team showed that Alderweireld isn’t as important as many thought:

Davinson Sanchez received a lot of praise for his performance:

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Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

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