Given how long it took Newcastle to sign Sven Botman, it’s fair to say to the club have high expectations.
Having first been linked during the Mike Ashley era, Botman reemerged as a serious target following last year’s takeover.
Multiple bids in January fell short, meaning it looked like the Dutchman would never head to St James’ Park. But then speculation over a summer move surfaced, and developed into a bit of a transfer saga.
However, it has ended in joy for Toon fans. Newcastle fended off interest from AC Milan to get their man, and he’s someone who all the decision makers at the club wanted.
Newcastle staff believe Botman can become one of the best
The 22-year-old has signed a five-year deal at St James’ Park, costing a reported £35million. He’s one of Newcastle’s most expensive signings ever.
It’s a big price tag, but it speaks volumes about how highly rated Botman is.
According to the Northern Echo, Toon staff believe he has the potential to become one of the best defenders in the world in the future.
That’s high praise indeed, and Botman will prove to be worth every penny if he reaches that potential on Tyneside.
He’s been likened to Virgil van Dijk, one of the world’s best, but Botman has played down the comparisons. However, he does aspire to be as good as him one day.
That will be the dream of Toon fans too, who have seen how vital Van Dijk has been at Liverpool. He’s been a titan of defending ever since he joined the Reds from Southampton, proving to be pivotal in a trophy-laden era on Merseyside.
Even if Botman becomes half the player then he’ll be pretty good.
However, the former Ajax player still has a long way to go. He’s yet to play a single minute in the Premier League, and may take some time to adapt to English football.
But he has all the tools to be a success, and will hopefully be a mainstay of the Newcastle defence for years to come.