Ajax’s defensive rock Davinson Sanchez will be looking to build on an excellent first campaign in Amsterdam.

  • By Michael Bell
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The Colombian began his career in the Academy of América de Cali but later switched to Atlético Nacional, where he made his first team debut at the age of 17. He went on to become a regular for the club over the next few years and interest began to grow with Barcelona big fans of the centre-back. However, last summer Ajax swooped to bring the Colombian to Amsterdam for €5 million, with Sanchez rejecting Barcelona after they stated he would only be part of their B team squad.

Ajax allowed Sanchez to remain with Atlético Nacional squad as they won the 2016 Copa Libertadores but after joining up with his new teammates he became a crucial member of Peter Bosz’s squad. He took to the Eredivisie perfectly and played a key role as Ajax reached the Europa League final. In 43 appearances he scored six goals and was awarded the player of the season award by the club.

This summer Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea have all been linked with the 21-year-old but he is set to remain in Amsterdam for at least another season to the delight of everyone involved at the club.

Style of play

A big and powerful centre back, Sanchez is an excellent reader of the game, making 60 interceptions and 30 successful tackles in the Eredivisie last season.

He is great in the air and loves to have the ball at his feet, with Sanchez often seen bombing forward into the opponents half at any given opportunity. This may sometimes leave Ajax open at the back, but with the Colombian’s pace he often gets back into position quickly.

Sanchez also has unbelievable technique on the ball for a centre-back, completing the most passes in the Netherlands last season, but also proving a threat with strikes from distance and in the box. He netted an overhead kick against AZ and a powerful shot from distance v Heracles.

What to expect from Sanchez this season

Ajax have done well to keep hold of the Colombian despite a host of clubs ready to swoop for the centre-back and he will once again form a partnership at the back with Matthijs de Ligt. He will be hoping to lead Ajax to the Eredivisie title and another run in the Europa League. His reputation is already growing as one of the finest young defenders in Europe and it will only grow over the next year.

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