Eddie Howe's drops Sven Botman hint ahead of Newcastle United's season-opener
But the defender’s not guaranteed a start in tomorrow’s season-opener against Nottingham Forest.
Eddie Howe feels that Botman, signed from Lille early last month, is “ready to play” in the sold-out home game, though United’s head coach also has Fabian Schar, Dan Burn and Jamaal Lascelles vying starts against the newly-promoted club.
Howe made Bruno Guimaraes wait for his first start last season following the midfielder’s mid-season move from Olympique Lyonnais – and he was asked if he would take the same approach with Botman.
“I think he’s ready to play,” said Howe. “I’ve seen him in pre-season, as you (the media) all have, and what a talent he is.
"I think he’s going to be everything that we hoped he would be. He’s technically very good, very, very strong physically, very good defensively. We look at every player individually – and try and make the right call for them and the team.
"What I’ll do with Sven, you’ll find out. I’ve been so pleased with the signings.”
Howe has a number of other decisions to make, notably on his goalkeeper following the club’s summer acquisitions of Nick Pope, and he will speak privately to those players who don’t make the starting XI.
"I'll always speak to the players,” said Howe. “Big decisions need to be communicated. I believe you can give players an insight into your decision. Not necessarily too much detail around it, but, certainly, the key reasons why you've made the call. That can only benefit you and them."
Meanwhile, Howe – who joined the club last November – has enjoyed his first full pre-season as manager.
"Yeah, I certainly think having a pre-season has been a brilliant thing for me on many different levels,” said Howe.
“I've got to obviously go into detail with the players on how I want us to play. I've been able to build stronger relationships.
"Certainly, I feel a lot more settled. I'm in a house, so off the pitch there's no distractions for me. My family will be with me in a few weeks. So I certainly feel in a good place."