Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs: Levy wasted £62m on dud who was “one of the worst”

Tottenham must rue the signing of his £65k-p/w failure.

Under Ange Postecoglou’s leadership, Tottenham Hotspur have had their best ever start to a Premier League season. The spirit is at an all-time high because this young team is playing with the caliber and assurance of title contenders.

The club hasn’t had much to celebrate in recent years, with Mauricio Pochettino’s golden era of management failing to produce any hardware and the days since delivering only upheaval and tragedy.

There have definitely been some memorable moments, with Harry Kane’s phenomenal efforts elevating him to legendary status as both Tottenham’s and his country’s leading goal scorer.

But since Liverpool’s heartbreaking victory in the 2019 Champions League final, Spurs have struggled to find enough success, just making it into Europe’s top club championship once over the course of four campaigns after four straight top-four finishes.

All of that, however, appears to be about to change as Postecoglou cultivates a winning, self-assured mindset, utilizing the unique attributes of his team to create something cohesive and total – a confluence of style, like raindrops wandering down a pane.

However, in order to accomplish this, the Australian has used a level of ruthlessness that is necessary, practically speaking, for a manager looking to achieve illustrious success for his squad, clearing his side of the trash.

Davinson Sanchez is one such piece of flotsam. He was once a young, exciting, talented, and sturdy signing for Tottenham, but he hasn’t lived up to his potential and has cost the team a lot of money.

How much did Tottenham spend on Davinson Sanchez?

Tottenham had recently finished second in the Premier League with 86 points in the summer of 2017, and had concluded the previous season with the worst defense in the division (allowing 26 goals).

Alton Thelwell, a former Lilywhite, commended Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for their “exceptional” defensive axis in front of Hugo Lloris’ goal, complimenting Alderweireld for his “tenacious” efforts and Vertonghen for his “Rolls-Royce” defending.

It was another year without silverware – something that last came to the club in 2008 – but an emphatic campaign nonetheless, and sustained development as a unit; Sanchez was signed that summer, 21 years old and willing to absorb the craft of his established peers.

The Colombian center-back cost a club record £42 million to acquire from Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax, surpassing the £30 million spent on Moussa Sissoko the year before.

There is no doubt that Chairman Daniel Levy had a vision, but as would soon become obvious, Sanchez did not have the expected outcome and most definitely could not sustain the defensive might over many years.

Why did Tottenham sign Davinson Sanchez?

By defeating teammates like Frenkie De Jong and Hakim Ziyech to win the Dutch team’s Player of the Year title, Sanchez had the world at his feet and had earned the respect of Ajax’s renowned recruitment model.

By scoring six league goals from 32 games, maintaining 12 clean sheets, completing 87% of his passes, averaging 1.9 interceptions, 1.4 tackles, and 5.2 clearances per game, and winning 60% of his aerial duels, he had displayed his wide range of abilities.

It was the right time for Sanchez to move and test his mettle in the Premier League because Alderweireld and Vertonghen were still in their prime. While he played 43 times and made 29 Premier League starts during that first season, he has arguably fallen short of those performances ever since.

What was Davinson Sanchez`s salary at Tottenham?

Although Sanchez’s £65k-per-week pay with the Lilywhites was not the highest at the club, it was nonetheless a consistent burden on the team’s resources and provided little value on the field over the past few years.

Combining this throughout the course of his six-year stay at the club with his hefty transfer fee, it becomes clear that Sanchez cost Tottenham £62m, which, to be quite honest, does not represent good value.

Spurs had at least recouped a fraction of the original amount when they sold the 56-cap behemoth to Turkish Super Lig heavyweights Galatasaray in September for about €15 million (£13 million), but such a pitiful figure perfectly captures the sorrow of his tenure.

What happened to Davinson Sanchez?

In the English top division last season, Sanchez had his worst campaign yet, starting just eight games, making 1.3 tackles, 2.3 clearances, and fouling for a penalty.

His performances have been so poor in recent seasons that Jamie O’Hara even referred to him as “one of the worst players” he has ever seen in the Spurs backline. The fact that he was not selected for such a poor defense last season speaks volumes about his dependability.

He also doesn’t appear to have that past zeal, as he ranks below the top 40% of central defenders in FBref’s analysis of tackles, interceptions, and clearances per 90 over the past year in Europe’s top five leagues.

It’s also unacceptable that he hasn’t contributed more significantly given Tottenham’s defensive shortcomings over the past year – Cristian Romero, for instance, is among the top 14% for interceptions per 90 and among the top 5% for tackles.

Davinson Sanchez Year-By-Year Market Value (Football Transfers)
Season Market Value
23/24 £11m
22/23 £24m
21/22 £31m
20/21 £29m
19/20 £35m
18/19 £40m
17/18 £26m

Clearly, aged just 27, Sanchez has vastly underperformed to see such a startling depreciation to his market value, having arrived in London to much fanfare.

Now that he has joined Galatasaray, he has the chance to revive his career and establish his value, but based on the evidence from the last few years, he is not qualified for a position on a team that is vying for a seat at the top of the game.

Although goalkeeper Andre Onana once referred to a player as “fantastic” by Spurs fans, that player frequently flattered to deceive and it is for the team’s benefit that he has since moved on.

Sanchez was truly cast off after also receiving an O’Hara comparison to “deadwood”; Postecoglou was not persuaded and Levy forced his sale, bringing a touching end to a once-promising career in London.

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