Newcastle United have made Lille’s Sven Botman a priority signing this January, according to The Guardian.
What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?
With Newcastle’s defence ranking amongst the worst in the Premier League this season, Dutch international Botman is thought to have emerged as a major target.
The 21-year-old has previously been linked with Liverpool and could cost up to £40m, although Lille may be reluctant to sell halfway through a season. Previously, Lille have sold the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Victor Osihmen, Eden Hazard and Rafael Leao for big fees, so certainly know how to extract maximum value from their players.
Who is Sven Botman and what is his style of play?
A 6ft 4inch central defender, Botman came through Ajax’s youth ranks before moving to Heerenveen on loan and then to Lille in the summer of 2020.
A tactical profile of the player posted on Breaking The Lines described Botman as “an excellent 18-yard box defender, who will do anything to prevent the opposition from scoring”.
According to FBREF data, his style of play is somewhat similar to that of Juventus and Italy legend Giorgio Chiellini and, over the past year, he ranks within the leading 80% of defenders playing across Europe’s major five leagues for progressive passes per game (3.66).
Back in August, The Athletic pointed out Newcastle’s need to sign a left-sided ball-playing defender and Botman, who could be a long-term investment given his age, would certainly fit that bill.
What has Sven Botman said about his future?
Speaking to The Athletic in May, Botman hinted he would be open to a move to the Premier League.
“If I’m honest, the Premier League is one of the leagues I dreamed about… but also Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga. The Premier League is something special,” he said.
“It’s the football I really like and that fits me. The style of play, the emotion; I really like to see the fans with such big emotions in the stands. It is a beautiful competition I really like to watch, and did for pretty much all my life.”