The ‘Sven Botman to Newcastle United’ transfer saga rumbles on.
Eddie Howe’s side are yet to complete a deal for the Dutch defender, with Lille raising their asking price to £36million. That’s despite the fact a fee of £30million had been agreed with the Magpies.
The Telegraph claim that Newcastle will now issue an ultimatum to the French side, imploring them to ‘see sense’ before walking away from the deal.
Botman has been a target for Newcastle throughout 2022, with Howe desperate to add him to his squad.
It’s easy to understand why. Botman is one of the top rated defenders in Europe, and could be a mainstay in the Toon backline for the next 10 years given his age.
The 22-year-old is competent in possession, but the most important factor is that he plays as a left-sided centre-back. That’s what Howe is targeting, and Botman is the man he wants.
That’s despite the fact Newcastle signed a left-footed centre-back just a few months ago. And he’ll be keen to prove Botman isn’t a necessity.
Dan Burn can still be Newcastle’s main man in defence
When January moves for Botman and Diego Carlos collapsed, Howe turned to Dan Burn. He arrived from Brighton for £13million, signing a two-and-a-half year deal with his boyhood club.
The 30-year-old has relished the opportunity to play for the team he supports, and has thrived ever since his deadline day arrival.
Burn is a fan favourite at St James’ Park, blending no-nonsense, old school defending with modern confidence with a ball at his feet.
The giant defender had a couple of questionable moments in a black and white shirt, but has predominantly been very reliable. It didn’t take him long to settle in, with Howe describing him as a ‘leader‘ after just a few games.
He’ll be keen to start the season in the starting XI. And he has every right to believe his form from last season should ensure he doesn’t lose his place.
A deal for Botman would change everything. Howe is hardly going to bring in a £30million centre-back for him to sit on the bench. Burn’s place in the side immediately becomes under threat once Botman or any other left-sided defender joins the club.
In the long run, Newcastle do need someone like Botman. He’s a young talent that can become part of the Magpies’ spine.
While Burn has been excellent, he isn’t a long term solution. He’s good enough now, but it’s hard to imagine him still starting for the club in five years time.
For now though, Burn is up to the task. The Botman saga is incredibly frustrating, but our Geordie centre-back will be eager to prove it’s much ado about nothing.