Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Imbalance claims brushed aside, as Howe hints at ideal Newcastle partner for ‘very impressive’ Sven Botman

Sven Botman training with the Netherlands

Eddie Howe has hailed the impact Sven Botman has already had at Newcastle United, explaining further how he might use him after his first friendly appearance.

Newcastle signed Botman from Lille at the start of July. They were battling Serie A champions AC Milan for his signature, but made the better offer. On Friday, the defender played for the club for the first time.

Newcastle beat 1860 Munich 3-0 in a pre-season friendly. Botman played alongside January arrival Dan Burn, who like him prefers to use his left foot.

Playing his part in keeping a clean sheet will have been a good starting point for Botman. There will be much anticipation for what he can do when competitive action kicks off.

Howe has now confirmed Botman and Burn can line up alongside each other, despite both favouring the same foot.

He explained: “I do feel with Sven he is very comfortable with both feet and uses his right foot lot. I do not see it as two left-footers, he is very comfortable.”

Therefore, the concept of him mainly partnering Jamaal Lascelles or Fabian Schar may not be totally accurate.

Whoever Botman features next to, Howe thinks he will be worth the time and money Newcastle have invested in him.

Pointing to his presence in the backline, the manager explained how much of an impact the Dutchman has already had on the group.

Howe said: “I’m really pleased to get the deal done. We were chasing for a long time. His ability, I think you saw that today, his presence and size is there.

“His technical ability has been there since day one in pre-season and the ability to play short and long passes is there. He’s very composed and he’s settled in perfectly, he is very laid back and calm and has settled into the group.

“I have been really pleased with his impact on the group in a short period of time – he can be very pleased with today.”

Howe praises Sven Botman focus

Howe is not just admiring Botman’s technical attributes, but also his personal qualities. The manager can sense a certain focus from the 22-year-old, who is ready to embark on his first season as a Premier League player.

Howe added: “He is quiet but he’s still getting to know the players and us. He’s quiet in a professional way.

“And he’s focused on his work. He asks the right questions and wants to learn. He is a very impressive individual.”

Next on Newcastle’s pre-season agenda will be a clash with another German side, Mainz. They are also due to face Benfica, Atalanta and Athletic Bilbao before the Premier League season gets underway in August.

Botman will be hoping to build up further momentum ahead of an intriguing season for Newcastle. Their first opponents will be Nottingham Forest at home.

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