South African duo Lebo Mothiba and Lebogang Phiri recently went under the knife with injuries that have taken them out for months and now yet another South African has joined the injury list.
Manchester City centre back Phillipe Sandler went under the knife on Friday and has been ruled out of action for three months. The 23-year-old was born in Amsterdam to a South African father and American mother.
He was groomed at the esteemed Ajax Amsterdam soccer academy before joining PEC Zwolle where he played regular first team football between 2016 and 2018. It is at Zwolle where he showed his qualities commanding the defence at the tender age of 19 with many in Netherlands dubbing him ‘the next Van Dijk’.
In February 2018 the centre back joined Manchester City on a four-and-a-half deal which is set to expire in June of 2022. The defender was sent out on loan to Belgian giants Anderlecht last season, but due to more injury woes he only made 9 senior appearances for the club before recently linking up with City for pre-season which is where he injured his left foot and had to undergo surgery.
Sandler is eligible to represent South Africa, Netherlands and America but he has made four appearances for the Dutch at youth level and thus can still represent any of the countries at senior level.
Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of the lanky defender with his abilities as a ball playing defender fitting in with the Spanish technician’s style of play. It remains to be seen where the defender will be playing next season with talks of another loan spell away from Etihad still ongoing.
By Prince Sobayeni