On the Radar: Davinson Sánchez

On the Radar: Davinson Sánchez

Columbian - 20 Years Old
Current Club - Ajax 
Position - Centre-Half





Tom Trump

The young Columbian turned down the chance to play for Barcelona in order to sign for Ajax in the summer of 2016. The 6'2'' centre-half has appeared over 25 times since his €5m transfer fee from Columbian side Atletico Nacional, impressing almost instantly during his first senior season in his native country. It takes a lot to gain such attention from European giants, Barcelona and Ajax. His turning down of the Catalan outfit was something of reason. He was told he would feature in their notorious B-team, gaining both experience and an understanding of their infamous style of play. Sánchez opted to take a chance with the Netherlands' club, noting their history of developing players from an early age. Pointing out players such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Luis Suárez and Christian Eriksen, but more importantly for Sánchez was their extensive, impressive list of centre-halves expanding back to Frank de Boer, Danny Blind and most frequently Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.

Sánchez appears to be a very modern centre-half. Ajax, traditionally being an aggressively attacking force like to have a few goals in their back line. Sanchez so far has picked up 4 goals in his first season, of which the majority coming earlier on in the campaign. Most impressively is his passing ability and confidence on the ball, he's happy to pick out both short and long passes from anywhere on the pitch, also not hesitating once when winning a challenge. Being a strong and physical defender is another of his assets, he towers against many in aerial duels whilst being able to hold off the biggest of threats in a one-on-one scenario. Another demand of the modern centre-half is to be quick, Sánchez certainly isn't short of speed, he has caught up with the quickest in the Eredivisie on a number of occasions. He seemingly ticks all the boxes.

Where do I see him playing if anywhere? I can see him featuring in La Liga in a few years. He makes mistakes which is more than understandable of a player who is only 20 years old. He occasionally gambles too much than necessary but again, only experience will allow him to eradicate that from his game. I do see Barcelona being an option for him down the line, he suits their play down to the ground. Failing that, depending on how he adapts his technique and physicality I wouldn't be surprised if a Premier League team made their interests in him clear. Maybe the likes of Everton or even Manchester City would use his assets to their advantage. He will probably gain notoriety in a couple of years, similar to what Vertonghen did before his move to Tottenham but it may take 2, 3 or even 4 years before being able to be a solid defender. There's a lot to learn in the position and if you look at the finest with the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Sergio Ramos and Jerome Boateng, they have all had their peak performances towards their late 20's or even early 30's. Permitting the youngster maintains his professionalism and shows the progression required to meet Europe's finest standards, he could have a bright future ahead of him.

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