Sunday, January 29, 2023

Crystal Palace Emerge As Shock Suitors For This Colombian Sensation: Can De Boer Pull This Off?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

According to reports, Crystal Palace are now weighing up a move for AFC Ajax centre-half Davinson Sanchez as the London club seeks to find defensive reinforcements beyond Mamadou Sakho. The Colombian international has been in huge demand following his last season’s heroics with the Dutch giants and top clubs like Barcelona and Chelsea chasing him.

However, with new boss Frank de Boer at the helm now, the Eagles are asked to splurge huge amounts in getting in the needed players this summer. Palace’s biggest predicament last season was their defence as they had conceded a whopping 63 goals in the league despite having some well-experienced enforcers. Hence, their primary target is quite obvious.

A change in managerial administration midseason finally managed to bring some change to Selhurst Park for the better, as Sam Allardyce’s aggressive winter shopping kept them up after they had skimmed the relegation zone. The arrival of Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool on loan was definitely the season-changing move for the English manager, whose match-winning displays inspired the rest of the squad to buck up just at the right moment.

Palace finished seven points above the relegation zone after a late scare had kept the last few weeks nervy. However, they have failed in their pursuit to make a deal for Sakho permanent and with days left before their pre-season tour, they have to make a move fast. And Sanchez has emerged as a top alternative for them in that position.

Sanchez was one of the best players for Ajax in their Europa Cup final against Manchester United. The Dutch side’s superior dominance over the English giants for much of the game stemmed mostly from Sanchez’s assuring defending at the centre. And that game has elevated his stature to a high.

At only 21, Sanchez has exhibited good maturity in reading the game and his phenomenal pace enables him to make many successful recoveries. He can provide any side with an efficient high line with tremendous tenacity. Ajax had got him from Colombian side Atlético Nacional for just £4 million and his huge demand is definitely helping Ajax recoup five times that amount at least.

At 187cm, Sanchez has the perfect frame to compete in the Premier League and he has also been efficient in creating and scoring goals. In the 32 Eredivisie appearances last season, he has scored six goals and assisted twice. His impressive displays have also enabled him to make his national debut in November last year.

And with the World Cup coming up next year, it would be difficult for Palace to land him from Ajax, who are competing in the Champions League next season.

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