Newcastle United’s Sven Botman was due for international duty this week, but instead he will be staying with the Magpies.
The centre-back had been called up to the Netherlands’ Under-21s squad, but has now withdrawn from the 23-man group. Botman was named alongside the likes of Mitchell Bakker and Jeremie Frimpong, but has decided against represeting his country.
The news was confirmed by the Netherlands’ official website, who state that Botman will not be replaced in the squad. The Dutch youngsters are set to face Belgium and Romania, but the Toon defender will not be involved.
Sven Botman chooses to focus on Newcastle
In the statement, it is stated that Botman wants to focus on his club during the two week break.
“Botman has indicated to Jong Oranje coach Erwin van de Looi that he wants to focus on his club during the international match in September and therefore not make himself available,” the statement reads.
It’s a bold decision by Botman, and highlights his desire to be a success at St James’ Park. The 22-year-old has had a mixed start to life in the North East since his £35million arrival.
He initially started the season on the bench but was then thrust into the starting XI due to injury. Despite playing earlier than anticipated, Botman looked decent. He wasn’t setting the world alight, but he was enjoying a steady start in black and white.
The only game he seemed to struggle in was the 3-3 draw with Manchester City, but we’ll give him a pass given he was up against Erling Haaland.
But despite playing pretty well, Eddie Howe dropped Botman to the bench on Saturday against Bournemouth. He was replaced by Dan Burn, who was excellent last season after his £13million move from Brighton.
Botman’s decision will certainly benefit Newcastle, as he settles into life on Tyneside. Working with the team during the international break should boost his chances of starting against Fulham on October 1st.
However, he will have to hope that this decision doesn’t hinder his future international aspirations. Botman is yet to play for the Netherlands’ senior side, but will no doubt dream of going to the World Cup this winter. That feels incredibly unlikely now.
But if Botman can start to really shine in the Premier League, a senior callup surely won’t be far away. The youngster has made a brave decision not to represent his country – hopefully it’s one that benefits both the player and the club.