Newcastle to keep trying for Ligue 1 starlet despite €35m offer being rejected– Is Howe doing the right thing?

Lille's defender Sven Botman (L) fights for the ball with Prague' midfielder David Pavelka during the UEFA Europa League Group H football match between Lille LOSC and Sparta Prague at the Pierre Mauroy stadium, in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, in the outskirts of Lille, northern France, on December 3, 2020. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP) (Photo by DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images)

Table of Contents

Newcastle United eye January move for LOSC Lille Sven Botman

According to transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano, Newcastle United are ready to try to sign LOSC Lille Sven Botman in January despite having their first bid rejected for him. The 21-year-old star has been good for the French club this season and played a key role in their 3-2 victory against Bordeaux in the last game of 2021.

A product of the Ajax youth academy, Botman joined the youth set up of the Dutch club as a 9-year-old. He then played for the academy side, the U-17, U-19, and U-21, before sealing a loan move to Heerenveen. He impressed at the Abe Lenstra Stadion, and Lille scooped him up in the following season. The centre-back has now caught the attention of multiple clubs.

Should the Dutch international leave France? And should Newcastle continue to pursue a move for him?

Newcastle United could use quality young talent in their backline

Since joining in 2020, Botman has made 63 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit. His performances last season played more than a crucial role in delivering the league title and breaking the monopoly of PSG over it. He has continued his good form into this campaign and formed part of the team that topped their Champions League group.

Newcastle United are interested in signing Sven Botman despite Lille rejecting their initial bid of €35million.
Newcastle United are interested in signing Sven Botman despite Lille rejecting their initial bid of €35million. (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Newcastle United are now keen on landing his signature. The Toon Army have not fared well at all this season. Steve Bruce had a disastrous start to the campaign, and the new owners then appointed Eddie Howe. The former Bournemouth boss always knew how to coach attacks but rarely excelled at churning out defensive performances out of his side. 

This season has been no different as the Magpies have the joint-worst defence in the league alongside Norwich. It also does not help that they have often played in a back three formation but only have four competent centre-backs in the squad. This has led to Isaac Hayden deputizing in that area from time to time. Thus, reinforcements are certainly due.

Moreover, Fabian Schar is in the final year of his contract, while Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez have only 18 months left on their deal. The trio is also into their thirties and cannot guarantee long-term cover. It, thus, makes complete sense to continue pursuing a move for Botman.

The centre-back is a large presence and has performed well in the big games in the Champions League and against some of the tougher opposition in Ligue 1. The soon-to-be 22-year-old could also play at the top for several years. Newcastle need serious help in the second half of this season, and the young defender could be the man to provide it.

Newcastle United could find trouble in sealing a deal for Sven Botman

The Geordies may be insistent on finding an agreement to sign the defender, but that is easier said than done. They have already launched a €35million bid and have seen it rejected by the French club. The Ligue 1 club is only four points off the Top 4 and also have a shot of going deep into the UCL. Selling arguably their best defender could cut into that plan.

AC Milan are also interested in signing Sven Botman from LOSC Lille. (imago Images)
AC Milan are also interested in signing Sven Botman from LOSC Lille. (imago Images)

However, the St. James’ Park outfit would be hoping that the saying ‘everybody has a price’ holds true here as well. But they would also be wise to use it smartly. Newcastle may have the richest owners in the world but that does not mean that they would need to throw insurmountable chunks of cash at every player they want to sign. 

But they could keep testing the waters to sign Botman. A lucrative contract and an exciting project might convince the player of the club’s ambitions. Similarly, perhaps a higher bid might suit the needs of Lille better, but one can never rule out them completely blocking a move. The Northeast club would also be aware that AC Milan are also monitoring the centre-back.

Read More:

The Dutch international is an exciting talent and would undoubtedly be a top addition to the Toons defence. Newcastle are certainly banking on that hope as they are trying to start a new era. But it is crucial to remain in the Premier League to do so. Additionally, investing in young talents like Botman could be the first step to establishing a new identity at Tyneside. Not to forget, he was a vital part of Lille’s iconic Ligue 1-winning season as well. 

Thus, they would be hoping that the former Ajax ace is wearing the famous black and white jersey before the end of the January transfer window. He could be the first signing on the road to the Magpies reclaiming their status as a top team in England once again.