Sven Botman, a defender for Newcastle United, has ‘disappointed’ his national coach by pulling out of the Netherlands Under-21 squad.
Botman was initially a member of the 23-man roster for the Dutch youth team’s upcoming games against Belgium and Romania.
Newcastle’s number four, though, withdrew and chose to concentrate on his club career instead. This occurs only a few days after Dan Burn took his position in Eddie Howe’s starting XI.
Botman has had a respectable start to life at St James’ Park, but he hasn’t quite cemented his place in Newcastle’s starting lineup. He has since taken a significant choice to advance his club career, one that hasn’t been warmly received in his native nation.
Dutch youth leader’s thoughts on Sven Botman’s choice
Erwin van de Looi, manager of the Netherlands Under-21 team, responded to Botman’s choice following the announcement.
“I spoke with Sven on the phone. We have discussed it. I understand him, of sure, but I don’t agree with him,” he told Voetbal International.
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“It is everyone’s right to come here, but I must admit that I was saddened by that announcement. I believe we are getting ready for a European Championship; ideally, everyone would attend. Additionally, you hope that everyone will like attending, but if not, they won’t. Everyone is free to make a decision. But I don’t believe it’s really practical for him either.
“You might have to take these types of things into consideration if you have a somewhat larger perspective and you also notice that Bruno Martins Indi, for example, loses weight at Orange. I painted him the picture when he said he wanted to unsubscribe, so that’s obvious.”
Newcastle will hopefully gain from the choice
It is obvious that Botman’s choice hasn’t been warmly received by Van de Looi. The 22-year-decision old’s to prioritise club above nation has angered him.
To be fair to Van de Looi, it’s fairly simple to comprehend his annoyance, especially given that Botman frequently leads his team. A leader leaving the international team doesn’t provide a positive message.
However, Botman’s choice should work in Newcastle’s favour. He was a significant acquisition at £35 million. There’s a chance he’ll go on to become a genuine black-and-white star.
If that’s the case, this foreign choice shouldn’t hurt his chances of moving to the Netherlands in the future.
Botman has never represented the Dutch senior team, but if he performs well enough for Newcastle over the next 12 months, it is unavoidable. But in order to achieve that, he must secure a spot in the starting XI. Given the calibre of Howe’s center-back choices, that won’t be simple.
The former Lille man has received some heavy criticism from the Netherlands youth coach, so let’s hope it’s a decision he doesn’t go on to regret.