Now I know what you’re thinking before reading this, and I too have thought getting rid of both is an ideal solution to Tottenham’s obvious defensive problems. However, with the window closing soon it’s looking increasingly likely that at least one will stay.
In case you had somehow missed it, Tottenham signed Cristian Romero this summer to bolster their central defence. A much-needed improvement at centre-half that’s felt like it’s been needed for the past couple of seasons. But who will partner him?
Currently, the three obvious choices are Rodon, Dier and Sanchez, with Alasdair Gold stating the club are still looking for a centre-back and right-back, but there need to be player sales to allow these moves to happen.
The right-back situation has probably been thrown up in the air a bit with Japhet Tanganga’s sensational performance at the weekend against Manchester City, this coming after a brilliant outing against Arsenal in a friendly the week before.
There is a big stand-out stat for me that cannot go unmentioned. With 1000 minutes less, Davinson made more fouls than Eric Dier, 22 to 16. Sanchez does have this brash side to him which this emphasises and perhaps was a reason for receiving so many fewer minutes.
On the ball, Tottenham have tried to play out the back for some time now, with ball-playing defenders a priority for Tottenham. Perhaps surprisingly, it was Sánchez who had the higher pass percentage total from last season with 85%. This was only marginally higher than Dier’s 83%.
The accuracy in long-range passes, something Toby Alderweireld was exceptional at, is where Dier and Sanchez differ most, Eric Dier completed 111 accurate long balls over last season, significantly higher than Sanchez who only managed 37 in his 17 Premier League appearances.
I won’t lie, both frighten the life out of me. My first thought when I saw the line-up for the City match was ‘where’s Rodon?’.
However, credit where it is due, we’re quick to criticise and often not quick to praise at Tottenham. Both were excellent against City at the weekend, after the first 10-minute onslaught neither put a foot wrong, asserted themselves in the game and will have given Nuno plenty to think about.
Like many I’m sure, I’ve had that last-minute slide tackle from Sanchez replaying in my head over and over.
With three fixtures (2 Premier League and one Europa Conference League) before the window closes it will be interesting to see if Nuno has a partner in mind for Romero and see which takes their chance when given.
In my opinion, both should start the league game at Wolves Sunday as neither should be dropped after the City performance.
Which to keep
There is one crucial factor for me in deciding which of the two I would keep, aside from the better ball-playing ability displayed last season by Dier, and that’s his versatility.
Dier has seemingly solidified his position as a centre-back. But he has played right-back and defensive midfield for Tottenham over the course of his career.
Sanchez lacks that for me, and with his rash nature at the best of times, I don’t think it would be smart to try him as a makeshift right-back if we absolutely had to.
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