Date: 14th June 2022 at 3:07pm
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Newcastle United are standing firm in their pursuit of Lille defender Sven Botman.

The Lowdown: Underwhelming Season

Last season the 22-year-old played a vital role in an extraordinary year for the French club, starting 37 league matches, the most for an outfield player at a club, as Lille won Ligue 1 against the odds.

This campaign has seen a drop at the club, as Lille stumbled to a tenth place finish. The Netherlands U21 international has not been able to hit the heights of the season before, missing 14 games due to injury.

The Latest: Newcastle Frustrated

According to The Telegraph, the Magpies have sent Lille an ultimatum after the French side went back on an £30m agreement for the £27m-rated defender and attempted to raise the price to £36m.

Senior figures at St James’ Park feel like a ‘Newcastle tax’ has been applied to their potential deals because of the news around their new ownership, but the club is determined to not get ripped off in deals.

This approach has led to the conclusion of Newcastle’s interest in Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Brentford striker Ivan Toney, and Leeds winger Jack Harrison.

The Verdict: Better than Burn

Eddie Howe’s side has spent over £90m on Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier, and Dan Burn since they got new owners in October.

The Ajax-Academy graduate could help bolster the Tyneside team’s defence. The 6 foot 5 colossus has the third-highest WhoScored rating in his side, and leads the club in clearances and passes per game, as well as having the best pass accuracy out of the players that have made more than ten appearances.

His performances since he moved to Lille in 2020 has caused his partner at the back Jose Fonte to call him a “top player”.

“He is a top player.

“I must say I was surprised when he first arrived. I wasn’t expecting this level of quality, I was expecting a youngster with potential, but the guy is very composed; he’s mature for his age.

“He’s a defender, and by that I mean he likes to defend; he likes to play simple, he’s strong, he’s tall, he wins his duels, he doesn’t overcomplicate the game, he’s good on the ball, left-footed.”

The £18k-per-week ace being left-footed means he will most likely replace Dan Burn, who only moved to the north east in January, in Howe’s side.

When the two are compared, the 22-year-old has more progressive passes, key passes, shot-creating actions, and progressive carries per 90 minutes, but Burn has more tackles, interceptions, clearances, and blocks.

The decision for Howe then is whether he wants a defender that is better on the ball or better off the ball.

Considering only Liverpool and Manchester City have picked up more points than the Magpies since the end of the January transfer window, Newcastle are a side that are on the up.

Signing Botman suits where the club wants to be, and would be a good move.

AND in other news, “On Newcastle’s radar..” – Journo drops transfer claim on ““extremely quick” £54m-rated dynamo…


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