24. Carlos Sánchez

Date of birth: 6th February 1986
Place of Birth: Quibdó, Colombia
Nationality: Colombian
Position: Midfielder
Year signed: 2014
Signed from: Elche
Fee paid: Undisclosed ( believed to be approximately £3,700,000)

Carlos Sánchez showed early promise and attended a football school in Medellín before moving to Uruguayan club Danubio, where he signed his first professional contract in 2003. Two years later, he was released without having appeared for the club’s first team.

He then joined another Uruguayan side, Club Atlético River Plate, and made forty appearances for the club in his two years there, scoring once.

Having been bought by a group of investors in 2007, the defensive midfielder was initially assigned to Chilean side Club Social de Deportes Rangers but he soon agreed a five-year deal with French Ligue 1 side Valenciennes. He appeared regularly in his first season in France and was an ever-present in the following seasons until a damaged anterior cruciate ligament in 2010 kept him out of action for almost a year.

He left the French side in 2012 when his contract expired, having made one hundred and forty-eight appearances and having scored eight goals.

Protracted talks with a number of clubs, including West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, did not lead to contract offers and the Colombian subsequently rejoined Valenciennes at the end of August 2012.

In August 2013, he moved to Spanish club Elche, a club that had just won promotion to La Liga, for a fee of €3.7 million and went on to make thirty appearances in the 2013-14 season.

Fresh from the World Cup, where his team had reached the quarter-finals, Sánchez joined Aston Villa on August 15th 2014 for an undisclosed fee believed to have been in the region of £4 million.

His début came on August 23rd, when he was a second half substitute in the game against Newcastle United at Villa Park. The defensive midfielder scored his first goal for the Villans against Manchester City on April 25th 2015.

Sánchez first played for the senior Colombian national side against Panama in 2007 and now has fifty-eight international caps.

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