After another fine performance for Newcastle United, Sven Botman is getting widely praised. Is the centre-back an option to make Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands squad?

  • By Michael Bell
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Despite some excellent performances in recent years at club level, Sven Botman has had to settle for a place in the Netherlands U21 squad and is yet to make his Oranje debut.

Louis van Gaal has so far ignored Botman, even picking Bruno Martins Indi ahead of him as he looks for a second left-footed centre-back. During the most recent internationals, Van Gaal even placed Tyrell Malacia in the centre of defence to see if he was an option.

With Martins-Indi injured and out of the World Cup, Van Gaal will need to reconsider who will be back-up to Nathan Ake, and surely Botman is the best option for Oranje.

Botman was not highly rated by Ajax but he then went on to win Ligue 1 with Lille OSC before being the centre of a tug-of-war between AC Milan and Newcastle United last summer. He moved to the Premier League for £30 million and has been imperious since.

The Northeast side is unbeaten in games that Botman has played and he has four clean sheets in nine appearances so far. The latest was a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford as he kept Cristiano Ronaldo quiet and also made some impressive tackles up against former Ajax winger Antony.

Newcastle United currently have the best defence in the Premier League and that is down partly to Botman and his partnership with Fabian Schar. The young Dutchman has been widely praised for his aerial ability, tackling and his ability to play out the back with a calmness beyond his years.

The 22-year-old has everything to be one of the best centre-backs in Europe and it seems only right that he is on the plane to Qatar this summer.

Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake and Jurrien Timber will likely start in the 5-man Netherlands defence, but Botman would be a perfect back up on the bench, along with Matthijs de Ligt and Stefan de Vrij.

The centre of defence is definitely a strong position for the Netherlands but Van Gaal cannot keep ignoring Botman’s ability and he is a much better option than placing Daley Blind or Malacia in the centre.

Botman’s inclusion could make Oranje even stronger and his name should be on the provisional squad named in the coming few weeks.




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