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Spurs' Davinson Sanchez turned down Barcelona to move to Ajax - Osorio

Following Mauricio Pochettino's press conference, Alison Bender and Dan Kilpatrick reflect on who will be returning to the line up for Spurs when they face Arsenal.

Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez opted to join Ajax ahead of Barcelona two years ago, his former coach has told Sky Sports.

Juan Carlos Osorio, now in charge of the Mexico team, discovered Sanchez as a 17-year-old in Colombia and signed him for Atletico Nacional.

The centre-half's performances as Atletico won the 2016 Copa Libertadores attracted the attention of a host of European clubs including Barca, but Osorio said he advised him to move to Amsterdam instead.

"I remember him calling me and asking if he should go to Ajax or Barcelona, who were also interested," he said.

"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."

After one season at Ajax, in which they were beaten in the Europa League final by Manchester United, Sanchez joined Spurs for a club-record £42 million in the summer.

He has become a key part of Mauricio Pochettino's side, forming a back three of Ajax alumni with Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.

"He played a very good season and Tottenham decided to go for him," Osorio said.

"That's fantastic to see, when a player can have such an improving career in such a short period of time."

Osorio added that he remained in touch with Sanchez, saying: "We still have a good relationship. He is very happy at the club, and the playing has made him a better player already.

"With Vertonghen and Alderweireld, two central defenders of that calibre, they have made him improve as well, so I think he's enjoying all that.

"He's at a very top club as it is. In the future I think it will all depend on him and how serious he trains from now on.

"Based on his age, the future is bright. He can play at a very high level."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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