Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez is ready to take the opportunity handed to him by Cristian Romero’s injury.
The Argentina international will not feature again in 2021 due to a hamstring injury suffered in his country’s World Cup qualifier with Brazil last month.
Sanchez looks like being the man boss Antonio Conte will go to to fill in on the right-hand side of a three-man defence, having started the last two games.
He played his part in keeping a clean sheet in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Brentford on Thursday.
“Cuti is first of all a great guy. I said that when he arrived but even more so now because we know each other and I know what he brings to the team,” Sanchez said of Romero.
“It’s a shame as he worked well and has been adapting to the Premier League. It’s now about his recovery, his mentality and being ready to be back as soon as possible.
“As for my position, I’ve been ready to play in every moment the manager needs me. So yeah, we need to be ready.
“Even if you’re not playing it doesn’t mean you’re not going to be involved. Football gives you chances all the time and it’s about that – being ready to take them when you’re needed.”
The Colombia international, a former club-record signing, has been inconsistent in a back four but is comfortable in the back-three system Conte is deploying.
“It’s a familiar position for me because when I came I played more centrally giving cover at that moment to Jan (Vertonghen) and Toby (Alderweireld),” he added.
“On occasion Eric (Dier) as well, and Ben (Davies), we played in a three.
“Now it’s about taking memories about playing there and bringing the new manager’s philosophy.
“It’s a huge responsibility because you are not playing one v ones but always taking care of team-mates and giving the wing-backs more freedom to go, as happened with Reggy (Sergio Reguilon) for the second goal. It’s about the manager’s philosophy and of course work.”
Conte’s demands on the training pitch are well known, with several players reporting they felt “dead” after some of the Italian’s brutal sessions.
Sanchez is happy to feel the pain and says that is what his side need.
“It definitely helps when you have more time to take in the details the manager wants to fix and the way he wants us to behave on the pitch,” he said.
“He’s a manager who demands a lot from everybody, even the players who aren’t involved in the games. That’s fine. That’s what we needed. That’s why the manager is here.
“He has been so clear in all aspects. It’s all about work, when you’re working well and you are honest with your job it becomes easy, and you get what you deserve.”