Manchester City’s second-most expensive signing of the summer, Dutch defender Philippe Sandler, has returned to training after a lengthy lay-off.
The 21-year-old arrived from PEC Zwolle for a reported £2.6million and wasn’t loaned out because he underwent surgery and has been recovering since.
The Dutchman has today taken to Instagram to announce he is back in training, and should be match fit in the near future.
Though primarily a defender, Sandler can also operate as a defensive midfielder, and with Douglas Luiz being denied a work permit, Pep Guardiola is one shorter than he would like in that area. His return could give Pep another option both in that department and in defence.
Sandler is eligible to play in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, despite not being named in the 25-man Premier League squad. Because he turned 21 in February, Sandler is still considered an under-21 and goes on a separate list, with Premier League sides having no obligation to register U21s.
That could lead to the highly-rated player, who has been compared to Virgil van Dijk in his homeland, getting some minutes in the busy months ahead of City – perhaps in the Carabao Cup if City, the holders of that trophy, progress further into the competition.
Sandler has his own space in the first-team dressing room and has taken the number 34 as a tribute to Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri.
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