Last year, Newcastle United fans were baffled by Sven Botman’s exclusion from the Dutch World Cup squad given his scintillating form for the Magpies. Under a new boss, Botman has once again got a senior call-up.
Sven Botman has been a fixture in the Netherlands Under 21s, but after he refused to link-up with the squad last year to focus on getting better settled into life on Tyneside. It was speculated that it could affect his standing within the Dutch set-up.
Despite his form for Newcastle, never being on the losing side, rarely losing an aerial duel, being part of the best defence in the Premier League, etc. Botman did not receive the call to go to Qatar with the Netherlands suggesting that his call-up rejection may have hampered his International career.
Newcastle fans couldn’t get their heads around van Gaal’s decision
At the time I remember saying that if the Netherlands don’t concede a single goal in the tournament that’s the only way they could justify their decision.
Louis Van Gaal stepped down as Holland boss after the World Cup and was replaced by Ronald Koeman who has now selected his squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against France and Gibraltar which has included Newcastle’s £35million rock.
Botman hasn’t made a senior appearance for Netherlands
While it’s not the 23-year-old’s first senior call-up, he’s yet to make an actual senior appearances for the Oranjes so he will be hoping that he’s done enough this season to feature in Koeman’s first-team plans. If you ask anyone who watches Newcastle every week, they’ll likely tell you that there’s no other defender in that squad that comes close to Botman.
Whether Koeman agrees remains to be seen.
Botman’s call-up will mean that he’ll now miss out on Newcastle’s warm-weather training camp in the Middle East when Eddie Howe takes those players not on international duty to put them through their paces in the searing desert heat.
Last season’s winter retreat was seen as the catalyst for Newcastle’s survival run and Howe will be hoping for a similar effect this time.