Philippe Sandler made only two appearances in cup competitions for Manchester City in his debut season in England.
The 22-year-old arrived at the Etihad from PEC Zwolle and is now set to join Anderlecht on a season-long loan deal.
Earlier today, we covered claims from Belgium the Premier League winners are sending the central defender on a dry loan as Pep Guardiola recognises his potential and sees a future for the player at the Etihad.
The Dutchman has seen his playing style being compared to Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk and in his homeland he was dubbed the ‘new Virgil van Dijk’.
John van’t Schip coached Sandler during the 2017/18 season at PEC Zwolle after which he got his move to City. The 55-year-old coach believes Sandler could be better than the former Southampton defender.
“Van Dijk has of course already achieved it at Groningen, Celtic, Southampton and Liverpool. But playing football, Philippe might be better,” Van’t Schip was quoted as saying by Het Laatste Nieuws.
Van’t Schip managed Melbourne City for four years between 2013 and 2017 and the Australian club is owned by the City Football Group, who also own Manchester City. It was he who advised the English champions to sign Sandler.
“It was after his second season at Zwolle, there was interest from AZ and PSV. So I tipped him at City. They followed him and also decided to attract him,” he added.
“Unfortunately, he was injured when he left for Manchester. He needed surgery on the knee and was out for five months. He then joined the first team and was allowed to make his debut in the cup competitions.”