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Sánchez Gives Tottenham And Pochettino Tactical Diversity

 • by Simon Collings
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Danny Rose may not be a fan of Google, but a quick search of Davinson Sánchez‘s name makes you realise how many clubs Tottenham Hotspur beat to sign the defender.

Reports from around Europe show how Barcelona and Real Madrid were tracking the 21-year-old, while some of the continent’s other top sides were scouting him regularly too.

In the end, however, it was Tottenham who won the race for Sánchez after paying Ajax a reported club record fee of £42million.

It is a hefty amount for a defender who, only a year ago, moved to the Netherlands for around £5million from Atlético Nacional.

However such has been Sánchez’s rapid rise at Ajax, as witnessed by anyone who watched him in the Europa League last season, that it is no surprise to see him on the move already.


Davinson Sanchez Goal HD – Ajax 3-1 Heracles… by sporttivi

And, while the £42million may seem like an awful lot of money for a 21-year-old centre-back, in the modern market it is closer to the going rate.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino certainly is not worried about the price tag, not least because chairman Daniel Levy is entrusted with the brokering of such deals.

“I think today I don’t want to talk about money,” says Pochettino.

“I don’t want to speak about the negotiation and the price is not my business.

“I think we are very pleased to add Davinson and [goalkeeper] Paulo Gazzaniga. I think they fit very well for our club, our squad.

“I told you weeks ago we were going to sign, and now we start to sign players. I am happy and, of course, I wish all the best to them.”

Sánchez’s arrival must certainly been seen as a coup for Tottenham given the level of interest in him.

And, although Pochettino may not wish to discuss his price tag, given the Colombian’s style of play it may prove to be money well spent.

Sanchez is, in many ways, a typical Tottenham player. Indeed he is incredibly athletic and powerful, especially for someone who is still developing physically.

The fact Sergio Ramos is his modern idol, and Franco Baresi is his hero from the past, should tell you all need to know about his style of play.

Under Peter Bosz at Ajax last year, the manager who has since moved on to coach Borussia Dortmund, Sánchez showed all those qualities as part of a high-pressing team.

Such a style has similarities with Pochettino’s tactics at Tottenham and it is why Sánchez will undoubtedly be such a good fit for Spurs.

“The only important thing for me to say is that he is so young, he is 21 years old,” says Pochettino.

“He is one of the important young players in Europe. He is so fast, so aggressive.

“We are so pleased, so pleased to sign him and so pleased to have him.”

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Sánchez’s arrival undoubtedly strengthens Tottenham, but crucially it also provides Pochettino with some much needed tactical diversity.

Some fans may have questioned why the club have splashed £42million on a new centre-back when they arguably have the best pairing in the Premier League in the shape of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.

However, beyond that, Tottenham are lacking in options.

Cameron Carter-Vickers has just been loaned to Sheffield United, while Kevin Wimmer is likely to be shown the door too.

It has meant in the past that Pochettino has struggled to alternate between playing a back four and three.

When deploying three centre-backs, Tottenham have often been forced to drop Eric Dier into the heart of defence.

It is a role the England international would prefer not to play and, moreover, it disrupts Spurs’ rhythm.

Sánchez’s arrival can change all that.

Not only does Pochettino now have viable cover and competition for Vertonghen and Alderweireld should he play with four at the back, but he can also seamlessly shift to playing three centre-backs by bringing in Sánchez.

Dier can remain in midfield and, in Sánchez, Tottenham have an aggressive and fast centre-back who can compliment the style of Vertonghen and Alderweireld.

“You will see because when you have ahead four competitions, you need to keep your quality,” says Pochettino, when asked what role Sánchez will have this season.

“Last season we were talking, not me but from another side, we need to strengthen our squad to keep the quality in all the competitions and to keep the level.

“I think Sánchez fits perfectly for us. He showed massive quality at Ajax. He is so aggressive, he is so fast. I think you will see what happens in the future.”

Pochettino has made no secret of his desire to win a major trophy this season.

“I need to explain what it means to win a trophy,” he said on the eve of the current campaign.

“I want to win the Premier League. I don’t say that it’s not important to win the League Cup or the FA Cup or the Europa League.

“But for me, we need to put Tottenham every season with the possibility to win the Premier League and the Champions League, the two most important trophies. That is our challenge.”

Understandably, after three years in north London, Pochettino wants to have some silverware to show for all his efforts.

And, by bringing in Sánchez, it appears as if he finally has the defensive options that will allow him to challenge on multiple fronts.

The future looks very bright.

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