Sven Botman is class.
If you don’t agree with this, you either have no idea about football, or you have no idea who Sven Botman is.
If you’re not a Newcastle United fan and it’s a case of the latter reason above, then you have at least some extenuating circumstances for not appreciating greatness.
A curious case or what? Why is Sven Botman not talked about outside of Tyneside?
Well, I think the bottom line is that this story of Sven Botman and Newcastle United doesn’t fit the national media narrative of what they want to write about NUFC.
They dreamed that our football club would buy all the former superstars on the hill, pay them crazy money, and then it would all implode.
The only problem is that instead of signing Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, Newcastle United signed Bruno Guimaraes, Alexander Isak and Sven Botman. Instead of spending ridiculous money on problem players in their thirties who are about to leave, Eddie Howe and the owners of NUFC are investing in a 24-year-old and two 22-year-olds to be the heartbeat of the team for many years to come.
Even more confusing perhaps, Newcastle DID add a trio of ‘bigger’ players but they were Kieran Trippier, Nick Pope and Dan Burn for a total of £35m. Amazing business.
Back to Sven Botman, though, he surely sums up the media and pundits in this country, when so little has been said about the 22-year-old.
What makes it even stranger is that it wasn’t even an unknown quantity to anyone in the football industry who has anything on them. Sven Botman was signed as a 20-year-old by Lille and was immediately one of their key players as they won Ligue 1 (ahead of PSG’s Neymar, Mbappé…) in 2020/21 and Botman then greatly impressed the last season in the Champions League. with Lille.
Knowing how lazy people and journalists tend to work in this country, I think no doubt many of them (if they even registered Sven Botman in the first place…) probably don’t even look at it as a Dutch team for the Qatar World Cup Cup, it doesn’t matter to make your team. So thinking automatically, surely then it can’t be anything special. The truth is that the Dutch do have very good options in defense, with players like Ake (Man City), de Ligt (Bayern Munich), de Vrij (Inter Milan) and van Dijk (Liverpool). Although I think it was a conscious decision by Van Gaal to leave Sven Botman out of this World Cup squad and rely on the more experienced defenders who helped them get there, with Sven Botman set to be a star emerging for the selection / team of Holland. post-Qatar.
That, however, still does not explain the lack of recognition for what he has already done with Newcastle United, both in the Premier League and in the cups.
It’s Christmas and Sven Botman is yet to taste defeat with Newcastle United.
Imagine if that was the case and the 22-year-old was playing for Man Utd and Liverpool, having signed in the summer…?
Sven Botman has made 16 first-team appearances (13 starts and three off the bench) for Newcastle so far, winning 11 and drawing the other five.
The 22-year-old started and played in Man City’s thrilling 3-3 Premier League draw, while in his other 15 appearances for NUFC when Sven Botman has been on the pitch, Newcastle United have conceded just five goals.
In 10 of his 16 appearances, Newcastle United have not conceded when the Dutch centre-back has been on the pitch.
The reality is that Sven Botman has looked like a class act.
Since the end of August, the 22-year-old has made 11 appearances and Newcastle have conceded just four goals in those games.
These are truly remarkable stats, both for Sven Botman and the rest of the team/squad, as well as Eddie Howe, but it still seems to be flying under the radar for many in the media.
When you see the crazy prices that have been paid in recent years for centre-backs (Maguire, Fofana, Van Dijk etc), how a unit like Sven Botman, who is so solid AND so good on the ball, didn’t attract interest wider of the Premier League clubs?
It’s no coincidence that in Newcastle United’s last ten games that Sven Botman has been involved in, there have been nine NUFC wins, one draw and zero defeats.
For Newcastle United to sign players of the caliber of 22-year-old Sven Botman for £30m or more in this crazy transfer market is madness.