By 90Min
May 15, 2018

Tottenham Hotspur broke their transfer record in the summer when they paid Ajax £42m for central defender Davinson Sanchez, and in less than a year, the young star was keeping one of the best defenders in the league out of the Spurs team.

Many may have been shocked at the price tag for a fairly unknown 21-year-old, but Spurs fans will have known to give the youngster a chance because of where he came from: Ajax.

Sanchez may have only spent one season at Ajax before he signed for Spurs, but with fellow defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, as well as midfielder Christian Eriksen, all having played for the Dutch club, there was hope that Sanchez too could be something special.

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And Spurs have already got more than what they bargained for out of the young star, as he has taken the Premier League by storm in his first season in England.

The Colombian centre back made his debut a week after signing for the north London club, and he hasn't looked back since, as he has become an integral part of Tottenham's starting XI.

Spurs fans may have first questioned where the defender would fit in, with Alderweireld and Vertonghen arguably the best centre back pairing in the league the previous season. However  Pochettino has found a way to slot Sanchez into his defensive line up.

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It was in the absence of the injured Alderweireld that Sanchez really shone. The Spurs faithful were gutted to see their star centre back limp off back in November with an injury which would eventually leave him sidelined until March. But Sanchez stood up and was counted. He formed a solid partnership with Vertonghen - who himself had the best season of his career - and was a vital figure in the Spurs defence.

The 21-year-old's pace has been invaluable for Spurs this season. The defender is also impressively powerful, as he holds off opponents to play himself out of difficult situations and battles for the ball. And his ability to read the game demonstrates so much maturity for a 21-year-old in his first season in the Premier League.

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Sky Sports reported that Sanchez had a bad attitude when he first started out in the Atletico Nacional academy, but there has no been no signs of the player he was at 16 years old. Although he needed to make changes to his behaviour, he was always willing to listen and had a desire to improve, and that has seen him transform from an angry midfielder to a central defender with the potential of becoming world class.

The young centre back took to the Premier League with ease and his performances were so impressive that once Alderweireld returned from injury he did not get his place back. 

In Alderweireld's absence, Pochettino switched to just playing two centre backs, and the Spurs boss was not willing to change his formation in order to fit the Belgian into the team. Alderweireld had to earn his place back, and that in itself must have given Sanchez heaps of confidence.

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