Newcastle United defender Kell Watts has hailed praise on Magpies teammate Sven Botman, having been extremely impressed since he arrived at St James’ Park this summer.
Taking to an interview with Chronicle Live, the 23-year-old, who is currently out on loan with Peterborough United, has been bewildered by how good the Tyneside outfit are defensively this term.
He largely attributes this to Eddie Howe’s shape, and also due to the emergence of the Dutchman in the side’s back-line.
“They’re great lads on and off the pitch so I’m not surprised by how well the defence is playing,” Watts said.
“It’s great, as a fan as well, to see the lads doing so well. It’s something to be proud of and they’re ready to keep it going when the break is over.
“I got injured within a week of pre-season so unfortunately, I didn’t see loads of Sven [Botman] training but when I’m watching all the games, I’ve been so impressed.
“A top, top player who is going to have a great career.”
Kell Watts full of praise for Sven Botman
Despite having come through the academy, at 23-years-old, Watts has only made one senior appearance for Newcastle. This came all the way back in 2020, when the youngster came on as a substitute on the final day of the Premier League season against Liverpool.
However, since then, the defender has had no luck with the first-team.
Botman, on the other hand, has come in at St James’ Park and has taken the league by storm. At just 22-years-old, the former Lille centre-back is actually younger than Watts. Despite this, this hasn’t stopped him becoming a leader in the Toon first-team.
Since arriving this summer, the Dutchman has made 13 Premier League appearances. Coming into Howe’s defence, Botman has made the centre-back position his own.
His giant stature and dominant physicality has meant he has been extremely successful when challenging for the ball in the air, or in the tackle.
At such a young age, the player’s potential is unfathomable. With over a decade left at the top level, it awaits to be seen how good Botman can actually be.
Howe has even said, “Sven has the tools to be as good as any other centre half talked about in Premier League history.”
Therefore, it is no surprise to see the likes of Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp label the youngster as a ‘special player’.
Whilst his arrival has been absolutely massive for Howe, youngsters like Watts have felt the effects of being pushed even further down the pecking order at St James’ Park. However, the 22-year-old continues to impress at Newcastle.