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Pumas pearl all set for Montpellier trial

Manuel Sánchez is already in Europe where he will spend the next two weeks on trial with the Ligue 1 club.

Manuel Sánchez is already in Europe where he will spend the next two weeks on trial with the Ligue 1 club.
Jose Luis Melgarejo

One of the youth team prospects that Pumas have high hopes for, Manuel Sánchez, is set to become another Mexican in Europe - even if only temporarily. the 18-year-old centre-back has traveled to France where he will undergo a trial with Montpellier. If he passes the tests, he could end up signing a contract with the Ligue 1 outfit.

According to Rodrigo Celorio, from TUDN, the player flew out to the Old Continent last week and will remain in France for two weeks starting 1 April - the duration of his trial with Montpellier. The teenage defender will have the opportunity to demonstrate what he has learned coming though the youth system at UNAM.

Youth international with Mexico

Sánchez has already been called up by Mexico, making three appearances for the Under-17s at last year’s U17 World Cup in Indonesia. He came on as a second half sub in the games against Germany, Venezuela and Mali as the Tri bowed out at the Round of 16. He has also been a champion at Under-18 level with the Pumas, has made one appearance for the Under-23s and has been on the bench with the first team during the current tournament.

Manuel has an unusual squad number - he wears the No.236 shirt, is a central defender and so far in this Clausura 2024 tournament in the Under-18 category he has played a total of 723 minutes over nine games and picked up a red card. However, his performances out on the field have got him noticed enough to be able to travel to France to try out with one of the top flight teams.

Not many Mexican players have featured in Ligue 1 over the years - notable examples include Rafael Márquez who spent four years with Monaco, and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa who joined Ajaccio from América in 2011 and made 112 appearances with the French side up until his departure for Málaga in 2014. Pachuca youth team player Eugenio Pizzuto joined Lille in the summer of 2020, and was part of the squad that were crowned Ligue 1 champions as well as winning the Trophée des Champions, even though he didn’t get to make any appearances with the first team.