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Davinson Sanchez almost became a Barcelona player when he was 17 before deciding to join Ajax, according to his former coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

Tottenham spent a record fee of around £40 million to sign Sanchez from Ajax in the summer, but the defender almost went down a completely different route.

Osorio, who now manages the Mexico national team, told Sky Sports: “I was coaching Nacional in Colombia, who are from Medellin. After winning a title we moved to Cali and I was invited to play football – which enjoy to do so with my friends – and I noticed this guy, and I really liked what I saw.

“So at the end of the day and I asked him, that was Davinson, if he wanted to join National. He was 17. The only thing was he was playing as a central midfielder, and I said to him, ‘I can see you have the qualities to play as a central defender’.

“He accepted the challenge and then he went to Medellin. We trained him for two years with the first team and at 19 we gave him his debut. He ended up winning the Copa Libertadores and from then he went to Ajax.
“I remember him calling me and asking if he should go to Ajax or Barcelona, who were also interested. I just thought the best thing for him was to play football, and maybe in Barcelona he would not get playing time, he would be a sub.

“That is what he decided to do and then he went to Holland. He played a very good season and Tottenham decided to go for him. That’s fantastic to see. When a player can have such an improving career in such a short period of time.”

Sanchez has slotted seamlessly into the Spurs defence since joining. The club and the supporters will be thanking their lucky stars the 21-year-old opted against signing for Barcelona.

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