His names is Davinson Sanchez, from Colombia, and in a month he will be only 21 years old. On May 24th he can meet either Manchester United or Celta in the final of the European League with his team, Ajax if they’ll keep their 4-1 lead against Lyon and he will try to complete two international titles in one year, after won the Copa Libertadores of South America with Atletico Nacional a year ago. Meet Davinson Sanchez, one of the hottest players at this moment and a name that you will hear a lot in the upcoming transfer window.
Davinson, or “the beast”, his nickname in Holland, was born in Calota, Valle del Cauca and started his first steps in football with the youth team of America de Cali, but very soon his family moved to Medellin and he decided to join the youth department of Atletico Nacional, which is familiar with the talented players that came out from there. He became one of the best players of the U-20 team who won the title and was invited several times to play with the senior team under coach Juan Carlos Osorio. Since Osorio’s philosophy is to do rotation with his squad, Davinson received minutes and you could tell that this kid will soon take a regular spot in the starting lineup.
But his big breakthrough was on February 2016, right after Oscar Murillo left Nacional and joined Pachuca. Nacional was about to start the Copa Libertadores and coach Reinaldo Rueda decided to gamble on youngster Sanchez and veteran Henriquez as the duo in the back. It worked wonderful. Since his first match, Davinson showed a lot of confidence and responsibility despite his young age. Of course he had some mistakes from time to time, but in general he was one of the main reasons that Nacional was the first team in history who didn’t concede a single goal in the group stage.
Nacional passed phase after phase and Davinson established his name on the notebooks of many scouts. Barcelona sent him an official invitation to sign a contract with the club but to play in the meantime with their B squad in the second division. Davinson, who knew exactly what he is worth, turned down the offer. Not every day you could see a 19-year-old player turns Barcelona down. Apparently he made the right decision. He arrived with Nacional until the Libertadores semi final before Ajax sent an official offer of around €5.5M. Now this amount seems like a joke.
As a gesture, Ajax let Davinson to complete his Libertadores tournament with Nacional but told him not to join the Olympic squad of Colombia to the 2016 Olympic games, so he can adjust to his new place. Davinson made the impossible and helped Nacional to win the Copa Libertadores for the first time after 27 years. Now he was ready for his new challenge.
It didn’t take him too long to be a regular starter in Peter Bosz’s team. Despite his young age and the fact that it’s his first time outside Colombia, Davinson kept his cool and showed how good he is in every game until he became the new idol in Amsterdam Arena.
In Nacional he scored only one goal, in his first year with Ajax he already scored five goals, Including this beauty. But it’s not only goals. Sanchez already showed his defensive ability. He is fast, strong and great tackler, like you can see here. His performances with Ajax in the local league and Europe League, brought Barcelona to interest in him, but this time for the senior team. Only that now it can be a bit late, since Real Madrid and PSG as well were reported as interesting in him.
As for the national team, so far he was invited several times by Jose Nestor Pekerman but played only one game, away vs. Argentina and Leo Messi. Of course this is not the real test to see what he’s worth, surely if you are a 20-year-old player in his debut. But at least at the moment, Davinson has a tough competition in the national team with players like Yerry Mina, Cristian Zapata and the Murillo’s duo – Jeison & Oscar. But his time will come and sooner then what people think.
In the meantime he will try to bring a European title to Ajax for the first time since 1995 and to complete a dreamy year for him. Ajax didn’t won the league but they were very close and Davinson Sanchez was chosen for Ajax’s best player of the season. Surely above all the expectations from him in his debut season. Now he is the main target of Barcelona and it’s not only rumors. It is very likely that ‘the beast’ won’t continue in Holland and will join Camp Nou or another major club and Ajax is going to earn a lot of money on him. You can mark my words: In two years Davinson Sanchez will be among the top five best center backs in Europe.