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Can Carlos Sanchez find a starting spot?

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Mr. Versatile of last season filled a lot holes, but can he make one position his own?

Sporting CP v Fiorentina - Pre-Season Friendly
Please go back to the afro Carlos.
Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Following his loan spell last year from relegated Aston Villa, Carlos Sanchez has been made a permanent member of the Fiorentina squad and while he doesn't grab many headlines, the Colombian proved his worth with some good performances in a number of positions.

When Sanchez joined from Villa it didn't get any pulses racing. He had been in a poor team devoid of any form and you would have been forgiven for thinking why are we going after players who have been relegated? However, Sanchez never really adapted to the Premier League in which midfielders need to be quick and players which don’t adapt to the league's pace get found out. For this reason, he was always more suited to the Serie A’s slower, more tactical style of play.

The Colombian is predominantly a defensive minded midfielder, although he rarely played there last year because of two things: first Milan Badelj and Matias Vecino’s fine partnership at the base of the midfield. Additionally, because of Paulo Sousa’s formation of well, playing no holding midfielder. It’s because of this Sanchez was played out of position for the majority of his time in Viola last season, playing 18 times at centre back, often on the right-hand side of the three. The Colombian also found himself in all the positions across the back four even at left back on one occasion and well let’s just say that should be the last time as well.

Going against Sanchez is that there is a bit of competition in his favoured position. With the acquisitions of Marco Benassi and former team-mate Jordan Veretout it hasn’t done him any favours. Also with Badelj still at the club also it’s going to be tough ask for La Roca to nail down a starting spot. The Colombian may have to remain patient and wait for a possible injuries or impress from the bench if he’s going to break into Pioli’s team.

Sanchez’s biggest asset to the team is his versatility, but for him personally, it's his worst enemy. He’s 31 years of age, therefore he really needs to find a position and make it his own, if he doesn't, he may well leave to Florence to seek more regular football.