The Chronicle’s Newcastle United editor, Aaron Stokes, insists that securing Sven Botman would be quite the coup for the Magpies this summer.
The Lille defender is thought to have been among United’s priorities back in January, and with Diego Carlos – who The Toon were interested in signing from Sevilla – making the switch to Aston Villa, they could return for the talented 22-year-old.
Calciomercato has claimed that the St James’ Park outfit, alongside Serie A winners Milan, are favourites for his signature, meaning the club would have to beat a European giant to seal the deal – as well as West Ham United, who the Evening Standard reported are also interested.
Stokes is wary of the potential suitors and understands the likelihood of the defender actually arriving on Tyneside is far from certain, but is excited by the names that the club are targeting.
Speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, he said:
“From what I’m hearing from people in France who are watching him play for Lille, whoever gets him this summer is going to get a young centre-back who could go on to be one of the best in the world.
“This is the levels that Newcastle are looking at now. Look, if they can get him in over AC Milan, what a statement it would be for the rest of the window.”
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TIF Thoughts on Botman to Newcastle…
Indeed, luring one of Europe’s fastest-rising defenders would be quite the signing for Eddie Howe’s men.
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The £27m-rated rock ranks in the top 5% among centre-backs in Europe’s top five leagues and continental competitions for aerials won per 90 (74.6%) over the last year, and despite Lille failing miserably to defend their Ligue 1 title this term, he was still among their top performers, with only two players averaging a higher match rating (as per WhoScored).
In Les Dogues’ title-winning campaign, the Dutchman was a key figure, playing in all but one of the club’s league games, and if he were to move to the north-east, it would definitely be a statement of intent from the newly backed Magpies.