Player Profile: Davinson Sanchez, Defender, Spurs

Coming off the waiver wire soon is Colombian sensation Davinson Sanchez. Just 12 months after leaving his homeland to join Ajax in a £4M deal he becomes Tottenham’s record signing with a 6 year contract and a fee of around £38M. What do we know about him and will he earn valuable draft fantasy points?

After starring for Colombian side Nacional as they won the Copa Libertadores (the South American equivalent of the Champions League) in 2016 he secured a dream move to Europe. During his only season in Holland he won Ajax’s player of the season award and produced a stand out performance in the clubs Europa League Final defeat against Manchester United.

Described by former teammate Davy Klaassen as “a beast” and compared to Jaap Stam by Ruud Gullit, Sanchez is 6’2″, dominant in the air and physically imposing. In that Europa Final his strength and power looked perfectly suited to the Premier League and unlike some foreign recruits he should not need a prolonged period to adjust to the rigours of English football.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had the best defence in the division last year and despite some scaremongering over the Wembley pitch are a good bet to provide plenty of clean sheets again this campaign. In fact 2 games in they have recorded one clean sheet already, with the 2 goals they have conceded being a direct free kick and a goalkeeping error.

Jan Vertonghen (33 PL starts in 16/17) and Toby Alderweireld (30 starts) must be expected to remain the first choice centre back pairing for Spurs and if you own them already I wouldn’t be worried about their fantasy prospects despite Sanchez’s huge price tag.

The new tactical trend seems to be playing with 3 centre backs and this could be ideal for Spurs and great news for their new signing. The Lilywhites played 3 at the back 13 times last season in the League and that figure could rise this term.

Confident in possession (he had an 88.9% passing accuracy in the Eredivisie) Sanchez regularly strides out of defence with the ball and poses a serious goal threat himself, he’s scored once in two appearances this season adding to the 6 goals in 32 league games last year.

VERDICT

Davinson Sanchez’s attacking threat should give him the edge over Eric Dier for the 3rd spot at CB. With the rotation needed for Champions League games, inevitable injuries, suspensions and Dier’s ability to play in the midfield role he occupies for England I expect Sanchez to start 20+ games for Spurs this season.

Judging by his remarkable rise from a Colombian top division side to Premier League title contenders in little more than a 12 months this 21 year old could be a real star of the future.

Tottenham’s excellent defensive record means that even without a guaranteed starting place Sanchez has a potentially very high upside if you can cope with carrying him through the weeks he doesn’t play.

Anyone right near the top of the waiver queue may prefer to hold on and see if any other major signings are made between now and the close of the transfer window that could fill a more pressing need in your squad.

Due to some uncertainty over game time I class him as no higher than a 3rd – 4th choice defender in an 8 team draft league but he is definitely worth picking up off waivers if you are in a larger 10-12 manager competition.

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