Useless on the ball - Mourinho's outspoken verdict of imminent new Tottenham signing Sanchez
By Harry Sykes
Jose Mourinho has revealed that Manchester United targeted imminent new Tottenham signing Davinson Sanchez in the Europa League final because of his lack of comfort on the ball.
The Portugese delivered a scathing assessment of Sanchez’s ability in possession as he explained his tactical masterplan for winning the fixture 2-0 to secure his side’s second trophy of his debut season and a place in next season’s Champions League.
Mourinho was quoted by Portugese publication Tribuna Expresso as telling students at the University of Lisbon that he instructed his players to allow Sanchez to have the ball because of his technical difficultes and instead prevenedt his centre-back colleague Matthijs de Ligt from getting in possession and building attacks.
The United manager came up with his plan after watching tapes of Ajax matches in the build-up to the final.
“I’ve saw eight Ajax games,” said Mourinho. “In England I see only two or three, because I already know the opponent, but not in European competitions. For me, the analysis of the opponent is very important, because I play against the opponent and I define the training in relation to that.
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“We let them go out to play, but blocking the right center, De Ligt, and letting the ball go to the left, Sánchez, who had more difficulties.”
Davinson Sanchez far from technically sound, but he’s not as bad as Jose Mourinho made him out to be. Suits Spurs in plenty of ways.
— Sam Tighe ???? (@stighefootball) August 18, 2017
Mourinho’s assessment appears at adds with the plans of Mauricio Pochettino, who will create a new tactical masterplan to incorporate imminent Sanchez into his Tottenham team.
The Telegraph claim Spurs have agreed the terms of a £42million deal with Ajax for the 21-year-old and manager Pochettino will play him as one of three centre-backs in a new-look system this season.
The major tactical shift is designed to maximise the talents of the Colombian, who Pochettino regards as “the perfect man to strengthen his back line”.
Spurs have predominantly used a 4-2-3-1 system since the Argentine has been at White Hart Lane, although he did experiment with some success with Eric Dier in a back three for a number of matches in the second half of last season.
Colombia international Sanchez has been targeted after making a huge impact at Ajax following his £3.8million transfer last summer.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club have suffered a massive Toby Alderweireld blow.