Revealed: The emotional reason Philippe Sandler took the number 34 shirt at Man City

Philippe Sandler is one of three former Ajax youngsters to have taken the number 34 shirt at their clubs this summer as a tribute to Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri.

Nouri collapsed on the pitch during an Ajax friendly against Werder Bremen two years ago and now has severe and permanent brain damage, which led to the #StayStrongAppie hashtag going viral on Twitter.

And Sandler, along with Roma new boy Justin Kluivert and Napoli’s Amin Younes, have all taken the number 34 shirt as a beautiful gesture to their friend.

Barcelona star Ousmane Dembélé will have “Nouri 34” printed on his boots this season as a different way of paying tribute to Nouri, who will never be able to play football again.

City’s immediate plans for Sandler, a £2.7million signing from PEC Zwolle this summer, are unclear. Reports from Holland claimed that he would be loaned back to the Netherlands with a top club, but he has been recovering from surgery and it is possible that he’ll stick around at City until January.

With the Dutch transfer window closing at the end of the month, there may still be time for Sandler to go out on loan, but if not we may get to see him wear the number 34 shirt this season, a tribute to ‘Appie’.

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