Phillipe Sandler is returning to fitness and is hoping to get his chance in the Manchester City first team this winter. 

The 21-year-old made the move from PEC Zwolle to Manchester City in the summer but has struggled with injury issues since then.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Sandler said he is returning to fitness and is ready to be called on if Pep Guardiola needs him.

He said, “I’ve been back in training for about six weeks after tearing my meniscus and I had my first full game against Barnsley in the Checkatrade Trophy.

“It’s a lot different here in England. Physically, it’s much more demanding and Pep wants us to play a certain way and one that I am, of course, learning.”

Sandler believes his playing style is one of the reasons he was brought in by the Premier League champions, “You have to be confident on the ball, able to receive passes under pressure and be able to start playing out from deep positions – that’s how I played in Holland and that is why I was brought to City.

“I think my playing style is the reason I’m here now because I play in a way the manager wants.

“All the central defenders we have at City are top-line players and it’s a privilege to be able to train with them and learn from them every day.

“I watch every game closely and during every training session watch what they do, how they cope with the pressure in certain situations and suchlike.

“It’s really good here – the players and the staff have been great with me and the I really like Manchester as a city and the people are really nice, too. I’m really happy.”

The new year schedule sees Manchester City play several matches in close succession and Sandler is hoping to make his debut, “The main thing for me was to get fit and I’m getting there – not quite at the same match fitness level as I need to be yet, but obviously I’m working hard to be 100% fit and ready to play if needed.

“If I can get an opportunity to be involved in any of the squads in the New Year it would be fantastic, but I just have to work hard and see what happens.”

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