A week before the transfer deadline, Tottenham Hotspur smashed their record transfer fee for Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez. The fee was 38.5 million pounds and could rise as high as 42 million pounds in performance-based add-ons.
This signing could be seen as a coup for the North London side because La Liga giants Barcelona were also after the Colombian’s signature, which he turned down as he preferred a move to the Premier League.
The Colombian was Ajax’s player of the year last season as helped the famous Dutch side get to the Europa League final, only to lose to Premier League giants Manchester United.
Sanchez is the ideal defender for Mauricio Pochettino’s system. He’s quick, strong in the tackle, combative in the air, and is good with the ball at his feet.
#thfc Pochettino on Davinson Sanchez: “He’s one of the most important and talented young players in Europe. He’s so fast, so aggressive.”
— Ben Pearce (@BenPearceSpurs) August 25, 2017
Sanchez also had an interesting first week of training with his new club. Pochettino reportedly clattered him when challenging balls in the box.
— Ricky Sacks (@RickSpur) August 26, 2017
Along with deadline day signings Serge Aurier and Juan Foyth, Pochettino now has strengthened his defense to compete in all competitions this season.
With the signing of Sanchez, Pochettino will look to switch to the 3-4-3 formation permanently. With his pace, he will be able to adequately cover the space that Aurier will leave behind as he bombs up the pitch to help Spurs’s attack.
The move will also let Eric Dier return to his preferred position in central midfield alongside Mousa Dembele or Victor Wanyama.
On the flip side, if one looks at the transfer cryptically, this signing could also determine the transfer saga of star centerback Toby Alderweireld.
Alderweireld is easily one of the best centerbacks in the Premier League while forming a formidable partnership with former Ajax teammate and Belgian compatriot Jan Vertonghen in the process.
Heading for the exit?
Tottenham could have signed Davinson Sanchez… as Toby Alderweireld’s replacement?!
— Yahoo Sport UK (@YahooSportUK) August 24, 2017
While almost all Spurs players signed upgraded deals in the last two seasons, Spurs have struggled in negotiating a new deal for Alderweireld.
The elephant in the room in terms of negotiations is the wage structure implemented by Daniel Levy.
In Levy’s wage structure, no player will sign a contract above 100k per week. Only Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, and Jan Vertonghen have signed 100k per weeks deals.
If there is one person who deserves to be a part of the highest earners of the club, it’s Alderweireld.
Since he signed with the club in the summer of 2015, Spurs had the joint-best defense in 2015/16 and the best defense in 2016/17.
The question for many Spurs fans is, how many players does Levy want on 100k per week contracts?
If a deal can’t be struck, Sanchez looks like he’ll be groomed to be Alderweireld’s replacement if he decides to leave in 2019 (his release clause would be 25 million pounds).
In the now, Sanchez will help Spurs’ defense immensely. Along With Aurier, Spurs will have the best defense in the Premier League.