Over the last two seasons, Tottenham Hotspur have become Premier League title challengers under the progressive Mauricio Pochettino.
While much has rightly been made of Spurs’ formidable attacking unit, spearheaded by Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, the team’s success has been built around a steadfast defensive unit.
Hugo Lloris is one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers, while Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld’s pairing at centre-half is critical to the Tottenham team.
With forward-thinking full-backs and Eric Dier able to slot in to link defence and midfield, Spurs have an impressive defensive unit.
Tottenham conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League last season and if the club can replicate this feat in 2017-18, those betting on football spreads will be tempted to back the London club to pick up silverware.
However, the summer signing of Davinson Sanchez looks like inspired business by the North London outfit, with the Colombia international boasting all the attributes to become a key man for Pochettino’s team.
Some eyebrows were raised at the former Ajax central defender’s price tag, seemingly set to rise to a club-record £42 million with add-ons, but the South American’s potential is there for all to see.
In his early days in English football, Sanchez has been utilised as the central member of a three-man Tottenham defence and excelled.
His ability on the ball is there for all to see, with the Colombian able to pick a pass and step out of defence in possession.
Sanchez’s blistering pace makes him an ideal last man, while his strength and aerial ability means that he can tackle some of the physical challenges of the English game.
The South American’s presence as the last line of defence has allowed Alderweireld and Vertonghen to step into midfield, meaning the Tottenham full-backs have even more of a licence to get further up the pitch.
Spurs have big ambitions of success this season, but a few things need to fall into place to make this a reality.
While the perceived Wembley hoodoo continues to blight the team and strength in depth will be challenged, the continuation of last season’s miserly defensive effort could well be the most critical element to the team’s chances.
Sanchez will have a big role to play in this and the initial signs suggest that the 21-year-old has the potential to become one of the Premier League’s best defenders in the process.