The ‘dominant’ Newcastle United star hailed for playing ‘best game’ against Bournemouth
The 22-year-old helped Newcastle keep a fifth competitive clean sheet in a row at St James's Park and secure a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-final with a 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth. Botman arrived on Tyneside from Lille for around £32million in the summer.
And almost six months on, the Dutchman is yet to taste defeat in a competitive game for the club. In 18 matches in all competitions this season, Newcastle have lost just once – a last-minute 2-1 defeat to Liverpool back in August in which Botman was an unused substitute.
In the 16 matches Botman has played for the Magpies, he has won 11, drawn five and helped the side keep nine clean sheets in the process. It may only be early days for the young defender, but he’s already making his transfer fee look like a bargain.
And against the physical presence of Bournemouth’s Kieffer Moore and Dominic Solanke, Howe felt Botman dominated the game in the air.
“I thought he was excellent tonight against the aerial presence of Kieffer Moore and Dominic Solanke, who are both very direct at times especially in the second half,” Howe said.
"I thought that was Sven’s best game for us aerially, I thought he was dominant and physically very, very good. His use of the ball this season has been excellent but I think he has really come on in other areas of his game as well. It was a really good night for him.”