Manchester City have spent upwards of €200 million in a transfer window yet to close. The squad’s major weaknesses – full-backs, goalkeeper, and young first team players – have all been addressed. One other concern hasn’t quite been touched upon though: center-backs. Ajax’s star defender Davinson Sánchez has made the move to English rivals Tottenham Hotspur – the man who City shouldn’t just have enquired about, but needed to sign. The failure to do so will haunt Manchester City for years to come.
For Ajax, it’s more often than not that a great player will only spend a couple seasons in Amsterdam. In search of a bigger paycheck and a larger stage to act on, Ajax’s stars engineer moves to Germany, Spain, and England to further their careers. Spurs have in recent years become somewhat of a common landing ground for them – Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld, and Jan Vertonghen all play for the London side after spells in Amsterdam (admittedly, Alderweireld moved to Atlético Madrid from Ajax initially). Sánchez has become the latest star Ajacied to transfer over the North Sea to Tottenham.
The question remains – why, in a football universe almost entirely interconnected like ever before, was an emerging world-class, 21-year-old defender not considered by one of the world’s largest and most financially able clubs? Manchester City has the power to pull off a roughly €42 million transfer. The Colombian international certainly merits at least a look at from a club built around the style of play Davinson has become elite at playing.
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What comes to mind when you hear the words Pep Guardiola defender? An intelligent player aware of his surroundings; able to pick out a pass and possess the confidence and ability to play out the back; physically fit and defensively strong. There’s honestly never been a player as young as Davinson Sánchez that I feel fits all of those requirements, and some. The six-foot-two center-half is a large physical presence at both ends of the pitch – a set piece danger and striker destroyer in both senses. Sánchez’s pace and agility allows him to move up the pitch with his confidence on the ball with the knowledge that he can recover to tackle an opponent in time.
At only 21, Spurs’ new signing has the current ability to play weekly in a physical Premier League and the potential to become world-class. On a stage as big as England’s top league and under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino, the sky is literally the limit for the defender who moved to Ajax for only €5 million last summer. Imagine what Sánchez could have accomplished under arguably the world’s best manager (no disrespect to Pochettino whatsoever) in a club with the financial power to outspend any competitors.
John Stones, Vincent Kompany, and Nicolás Otamendi make up a menacing yet inconsistent center-back grouping for Manchester City. Flanked by newly acquired full-backs, a backline of either 4 or 5 can become one of England’s best. That being said, Stones and Otamendi are quite nervous on the ball, while Kompany’s reoccurring injuries hamper him for most seasons. A young, athletic, technically solid defender like Sánchez is a must-buy for the club. There are simply no excuses for City to not have bought a player who may potentially be looked upon as a generational talent.
Featured image provided by Mundo Deportivo.