This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Tottenham Hotspur defender Davinson Sanchez is showing signs of improvement under Jose Mourinho.
The Colombia international was excellent at the weekend as Spurs beat Burnley 5-0 in the Premier League.
Per WhoScored, he made two tackles, seven clearances and one block, while winning six aerial duels in a commanding display.
He earned a rating of 7.68 for his performance, his highest of the season thus far.
And it speaks to a pattern of gradual growth under the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss.
Sanchez earned a 6.72 rating against West Ham United, as he made one tackle and one interception, along with four clearances, but also conceded two fouls.
A similar rating of 6.75 was earned against Bournemouth as he again conceded two fouls, failed to make a tackle, but completed two interceptions, made five clearances and two blocks.
And against Manchester United, he earned a rating of 6.96 as he made two tackles, one interception, six clearances and two blocks.
No clues whatsoever: Which seasons do these iconic Spurs images belong to?
Sanchez seems to be allying clever positioning – hence his high clearance statistics – with timing in the tackle.
His foul numbers are dropping and that suggests that Mourinho is telling the Colombian to wait for his moment and only get involved in the play when there is an option to remove the danger, instead of attempting to dive into a tackle.
He is, of course, being partnered with Toby Alderweireld in central defence and, with Jan Vertonghen at left-back, he has been helped by two incredibly experienced defenders.
But his gradual improvement and growth speaks to Mourinho’s tactics working; he was frighteningly inconsistent under Mauricio Pochettino, reaching a zenith of a seven rating against Manchester City and a nadir of 5.99, earned in the 1-1 draw with Watford.
Mourinho, then, may have finally unlocked his consistency.
Meanwhile, one Spurs star proved his worth against Burnley.