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European praise for Sanchez and Winks

Posted on 28 December 2017  - 08:00

Davinson Sanchez and Harry Winks have been recognised for their impressive contributions on the European stage as we head into the New Year.

Davinson Sanchez on Champions League duty against Real MadridHarry Winks on the ball against Real Madrid

Centre-back Davinson, a summer signing from Ajax, and central midfielder Harry, a product of our Academy system, both shone as we romped to top spot in our UEFA Champions League group this season, brushing aside holders Real Madrid and German giants Borussia Dortmund in the process.

We’ve now got a mouth-watering last 16 tie with Juventus to look forward to in February and, for Davinson and Harry, both remarkably still only 21 years of age, it’s a chance to carry over the sort of form that has seen them both named in UEFA.com’s Champions League Breakthrough Team of 2017.

Made up of players aged 24 and under who made their Champions League debut in 2017, or who only had limited prior experience and made a major leap during the calendar year, the team was put together by UEFA.com reporters and editors and recognises some of the brightest young talents at European football’s top table.

On Davinson, they commented: “Key to Ajax reaching last season’s UEFA Europa League final, Sanchez has made the step up to the UEFA Champions League with ease. He oozes class in possession but equally thrives on the defensive nuts and bolts and is rarely cowed despite his tender years.”

And on Harry, they noted: “(He is) now a central cog in Spurs’ midfield, having made just three Premier League starts before this season. A deep-lying playmaker with fine control and distribution, Winks impressed in the Real Madrid double-header, earning comparisons to Tottenham old boy Luka Modrić.”

According to Davinson, it’s now important to keep improving as we move into 2018.

“Always it’s an honour to be talked about like this because the Champions League is the biggest club competition in the world, but it’s important to keep the level of performance and keep going,” said the Colombian international, discussing his Breakthrough Team inclusion.

“It’s not only about finishing the group but to go to the next stage. For us it’s very good because we have very good players and we have the capacity to play many games in the competition.”