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Go For It De Boer – This Ajax Defender Could Be A Shrewd Signing For Crystal Palace

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Why Davinson Sanchez Would Be A Great Signing For Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace are planning an audacious £22million swoop for AFC Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez according to Spanish media outlet, Sport.

The 21-year old, who is also wanted by Spanish giants Barcelona, has emerged as a top transfer target for the Eagles, with manager Frank de Boer willing to sanction a big money move for the centre-half from his former club.

Sanchez joined the Dutch club only last summer, from Colombian side Atletico Nacional and despite his young age, has made a serious impact in his first season in Europe. Even before his move to Ajax, the 21-year old was wanted by Barca, but he refused a move to the Catalans, as he did not want to play for the reserve team. He instead moved to Netherlands, where he had a stellar debut campaign.

The Colombian international played 45 times over the course of the last season for Ajax and finished with 6 goals and 2 assists in all competitions. He was a vital player under former manager Peter Bosz as the Dutch side came so close to winning their first Eredivisie title in three years and also reached the finals of the UEFA Europa League, where they were defeated by Manchester United.

Tall and sturdy, Sanchez can be a nuisance to any forward with his imposing physical presence. Standing tall at 6ft 2in, the 21-year old is an exceptional header of the ball and uses his height to great effect at both the ends of the pitch. Last season, he won close to 60% of his aerial battles in 32 league games (76 of 127 attempts). The fact that he scored 6 goals is an indication of how effective he can be in the opposition box from set-piece situations.

The level of maturity and concentration that the 21-year old has shown playing at the heart of the defence, one wouldn’t be wrong to have mistaken him for a seasoned defender. With his tendancy to press high up the pitch, he does leave space behind him on occasions, but he possesses great ground speed that allows him to recover in such situations. A strong tackler as well, he ticks most boxes that are required of a centre-half.

However, the strongest feature of his game is his range of distribution and ability to pick out his teammates with unerring accuracy. In the league games last season, Sanchez attempted a whopping 2279 passes – which is a very high number for a centre-back and he completed 88.9% of those passes – surely something special. In the current game, when defenders with ball-playing abilities and strong sense of distribution are worth their weight in gold, Sanchez has shown that he can pass the ball out from the back and can also carry the ball out with his strong dribbling skills.

Sanchez’s mature and impressive displays at the back earned him the Ajax Player of The Year award at the end of the season – surely a great feather in his cap, considering it was his very first season in Europe, that too at such a young age.

Palace are in need of a new centre-back in the squad. With only James Tomkins and Scott Dann as the options at De Boer’s disposal, along with an ageing Damien Delaney, they are thinly equipped in the defensive department and a fresh addition to the ranks is imperative.

Sanchez at 21, may not be the most experienced defender around, but with his displays for Ajax, he has shown the amazing levels of potential that he possesses. And if that is anything to go by, he is set for bigger and better things, and Palace will be getting themselves a star in the making if they sign him in the summer.

Also from the business perspective, if Sanchez goes on to fulfill the initial promise and potential he has shown, he is likely to command a huge fee in the future, if and when he moves on. With De Boer’s ability to nurture and get the best out of young talents, Palace will benefit hugely from the deal and they should look to get it done at the earliest.

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