Newcastle United defender Sven Botman has reportedly not been selected for the Netherlands’ World Cup squad.
That is according to Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, who claim that the 22-year-old will not be part of Louis van Gaal’s plans in Qatar.
He is one of 13 players who are set to miss out, after a 39-man longlist was named last month. Botman was included in the Netherlands’ provisional squad, alongside top class centre-backs such as Virgil van Dijk, Stefan de Vrij, Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake.
It was going to take something really special for Botman to win a place on the plane – especially after his last involvement with the Dutch national team.
The 22-year-old had been selected for the Under-21s squad during the last international break, but decided to turn down the callup to focus on his club career. That decision did not go down well, but it almost paid off.
Botman went on to become a regular for Newcastle, where his performances put him in contention for a place in the World Cup squad.
However, he has come up short this time. But he is so talented and young that his time will come in the future. Instead, he will have to cheer on his country from home.
Botman not being selected is a possible blessing for Newcastle
While Botman will be devastated to miss out, it could prove to be a blessing for the Magpies.
With him missing out, it officially means that six Toon players are going to the World Cup. And that includes Garang Kuol, who isn’t actually part of Eddie Howe’s squad yet.
There are only a few days between the World Cup ending and domestic football resuming, meaning various key Toon players could return tired when their international adventure is over.
Howe will be keen to put out a fresh team when his team take on Bournemouth in the League Cup just before Christmas, and Botman not going to the World Cup means he will definitely be available for selection.
Given the importance of the cup, the Toon boss will want to put out a strong team. And while he might not be able to rely on the likes of Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes, Botman should certainly be available.