Given the recent and rapid escalation of transfer fees in the world soccer transfer market, it’s not surprising that players who most might not know are moving for astronomical fees. Take the case of Davinson Sánchez, the Colombian defender is moving from Dutch giants and Europa League runners-up Ajax to the Premier League’s perennial contender–Tottenham Hotspur–for a whopping $53 million fee.
It’s not unheard of for an Ajax standout to move to the Premier League, or even to Tottenham itself: current center back stud Jan Vertonghen moved from the Netherlands to England back in 2012, and midfield starlet Christian Eriksen did the same a year later. Davinson is a less-established than either of those, as the 21-year-old only played one season in Europe after moving to the Dutch capital from Atletico Nacional in the summer of 2016 (for a $6 million fee that seems comically low in light of his Tottenham price).
So, who is Davinson Sánchez, and why did one of England’s top clubs reportedly shell out a small fortune (the 5th most expensive defender transfer of all time) for his services? The 6-foot-2 center back will likely reprise his role from Ajax as a strong, vertical center half, with pace to keep up with the Romelu Lukakus and Alvaro Moratas of the Premier League. More than that, however, he should benefit from the tutelage of Tottenham’s Argentine genius of a manager, Mauricio Pochettino. Under Pochettino, young prospects like Dele Alli and Eric Dyer have flourished into their respective forms, and that’s without even thinking about Harry Kane turning into the best striker in England last season. Davinson will slot in with Tottenham’s youth movement, likely deputizing under Vertonghen and fellow Ajax product Toby Alderweireld; those two are reaching their late primes, with Vertonghen already in his age-30 season.
More importantly for Colombian fans, his experience under two of the best (if not the best, period) defenders in England should help Davinson grow into a centerpiece of the cafeteros defense for years to come. It’s likely that his 2 caps to date will soon balloon in number, perhaps as soon as the next round of World Cup Qualifiers in September. By the time the 2018 World Cup comes around, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Davinson finds himself as a starter at the back for Colombia.
In the meantime, here’s hoping Davinson brings his dope celebrations and ridiculous overhead kicks with him across the English Channel.