Football.London journalist Alasdair Gold has revealed that Davinson Sanchez is in a “strange situation” at Tottenham at the moment.
The Colombia international has made 32 appearances across all competitions this season, but Gold believes that Jose Mourinho’s arrival as manager, and the competition he faces at centre-back, means he faces a real fight to remain a key part of the starting eleven.
He said: “The Colombian is in a strange situation at Spurs. He was the club record signing and had a manager in Mauricio Pochettino who believed he could be one of the best centre-backs in the world. Now he has a manager in Mourinho who admitted his Manchester United team targeted Sanchez in the Europa League final as the weak link in the Ajax defence due to his technical ability or lack of.
“Eric Dier declaring his future is in defence, the emergence of Japhet Tanganga and Toby Alderweireld signing a new deal and being a Mourinho favourite means Sanchez will have to fight for the head coach’s affection in the weeks ahead. If Mourinho can improve his ability with the ball then Sanchez offers the most complete option in defence with pace and strength, but he will have to earn his spot with the way he responds to the Portuguese.”
With Jan Vertonghen looking set to leave the club come the end of the season, Sanchez will have one less player to compete with for one of the starting centre-back roles at Tottenham.
But as Gold alludes to, the Colombian was actually targeted by Mourinho as the weak link in Ajax’s defence during Manchester United’s Europa League final clash against the Dutch side. Speaking back in the summer of 2017, the current Spurs boss revealed: “We let them go out to play, but blocking the right center, (Matthijs) de Ligt, and letting the ball go to the left, Sánchez, who had more difficulties.”
It remains to be seen whether Mourinho now sees Sanchez as someone who he can coach into a top-class central defender, or whether he will now place his faith in the likes of Dier and Tanganga to partner Alderweireld.