One player the Magpies splashed out on that has become an important figure for Eddie Howe’s side is Sven Botman.
Newcastle secured a deal worth a reported fee of around £35m for the defender from Lille back in the summer transfer window.
This season has seen the 23-year-old feature in all but two of the Toon’s matches across all competitions prior to this evening’s league outing against Liverpool, showing how significant he is for Howe.
Even though the Dutchman is still in the midst of his debut season at St James’ Park, the club have recently been linked with (via Correio da Manha) a player that we feel could be another version of the centre-back in Sporting CP defender Goncalo Inacio.
Having emerged from Sporting’s youth system, the defender has gone on to make 103 senior appearances for the Portuguese club across all competitions, scoring nine goals and providing seven assists in the process.
As a young defender making a name for himself in one of Europe’s big leagues, this shows the similarity the 21-year-old has to Botman, who also showed his worth at a young age in France with Lille after working his way through the youth ranks at Ajax.
The duo have also shown in their current individual domestic campaigns how alike they are in terms of their defensive work on the pitch.
Has Sven Botman had a good season with Newcastle so far?
Hailed as a “complete” centre-back by talent scout Jacek Kulig, Inacio could be another solid long-term investment for Newcastle to make as Botman is already proving to be if he was to replicate this form in the Premier League.
Whether he is capable of making the step up remains to be seen, though it should be remembered that Botman shone in Ligue 1 well before seamlessly stepping into the Newcastle backline – and bearing Inacio’s Champions League experience in mind, he could easily bring something to the table at St James’ despite his tender years.
Moving forward, if Howe does look to strengthen his defensive ranks in the summer, securing a deal for the Sporting youngster would be a great way to do that, especially if he can go on to emulate what the current Toon defender has done since his arrival.