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Davinson Sanchez - a view from Holland

Posted on 31 August 2017  - 13:51

It’s safe to say Dutch football expert Mike Verweij was impressed with Davinson Sanchez’s season at Ajax, describing the Colombian defender as ‘a warrior’. A sports writer for national newspaper De Telegraaf, Mike took time out from his busy schedule to give us the lowdown on our new signing…

Davinson on duty for AjaxOn the pitch at Wembley on Sunday with fellow new signing Paulo Gazzaniga

‘A warrior’

Mike: “There are two sides to Davinson Sanchez. Off the pitch, he’s friendly, always smiling and talking with everyone – fans, media, taking all the time for autographs and selfies. But on the pitch, you don’t want to play against him. He’s a warrior.”

‘He got into the team and never left it’

Mike: “Let’s start at the very beginning. We always used to make a joke when Luis Suarez, the former Liverpool player now at Barcelona, played for Ajax, we’d always say he’d play with any injury, anything. Nothing would stop him! It’s the same with Davinson Sanchez. He came to Ajax from Atletico Nacional in Colombia, where he’d won the Copa Libertadores (February, 2016) and he didn’t have a holiday. Everyone thought ‘this might be a problem’ and when he came to Ajax, coming from South America, we also thought it might take some time for him to adapt, but he played one game for Jong Ajax, went into the first team and stayed there. He played 32 league games, plus European football all the way to the Europa League Final. He also played internationals with Colombia and just played everything. For us, that was amazing. He got into the team and never left it. That was very special.”

davinson_ajax_instory

‘A real defender’

Mike: “In Holland, as you know, we don’t really have defenders. We always want a defender to play good football and it’s more important to build up and play football. That’s why Davinson was so good in Holland – because he’s a real defender. If you look at his statistics in the Dutch League, he won most 50-50 challenges, the one-on-one duels and it was the same in Europe. He’s strong, he can tackle and we were all very, very impressed by that. He has so much power and wants to do everything. He’s so enthusiastic and always wants to be important for the team. He’s a special player.”