Sven Botman: Things to Know About the Dutch Defender

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Botman has made a flying start to life in France
Botman has made a flying start to life in France / Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images
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Although Liverpool have fared remarkably well following Virgil van Dijk's and Joe Gomez's injuries, they are still likely to delve into the transfer market to strengthen their defensive ranks in January.

The most recent name to be mentioned is Sven Botman, who has already made quite the impression since joining Lille in the summer.

According to Get French Football News, the Reds made contact with Les Dogues in November regarding a potential move - but they face competition from Inter to secure his signature.

Never seen Botman play before? Don't worry. Here's everything you need to know about the Dutchman.


1. Ajax Graduate

Botman faced his parent club while on loan at Heerenveen
Botman faced his parent club while on loan at Heerenveen / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Ajax's conveyor belt of young talent has been running for many years. Could Botman be the next Matthijs de Ligt? He certainly has a similar origin story.

Botman completed the entirety of his footballing education at Ajax, joining the club in 2009 and progressing through the ranks, playing with the likes of Sergino Dest, Ryan Gravenberch and Mitchel Bakker along the way.

After struggling to break into the first team, he was shipped out on loan to Heerenveen where he was on the receiving end of 4-1 and 3-1 defeats at the hands of his parent club.

If Liverpool do not snap him up beforehand, Botman could have a chance at revenge when Lille take on Ajax in the Europa League round of 32 in February.


2. International

Botman in action for Netherlands Under 21s
Botman in action for Netherlands Under 21s / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Botman has been among the highest rated Dutch prospects from a young age.

He has featured for the Netherlands at Under-15, 16, 18, 19, 20 and most recently, Under-21 level.

The only feather missing from his cap is senior appearance. His wait nearly came to an end during the most recent international break, with Botman called up to Frank de Boer's squad for Nations League games against Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, he never got on from the bench.

Maybe next time Sven.


3. Pass Master

Botman loves to spray a long ranged pass
Botman loves to spray a long ranged pass / Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

To succeed as a modern day centre-back, possessing an impressive passing range is essential.

On the evidence of this season, Botman appears to be somewhat of a pass master. At the time of writing, he has completed the fifth most passes in Ligue 1.

Not all of these have been safe either. Botman ranks seventh for progressive pass distance in the division and only nine outfield players have completed more long passes (over 30 yards) than him.


4. Calm in Possession

Botman loves having the ball at his feet
Botman loves having the ball at his feet / Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

As well as being an excellent passer, Botman is also competent in possession.

His Lille teammates are confident giving him the ball and he has racked up the fifth most touches in Ligue 1 so far.

He is more than comfortable driving out from the back as well, with only six players registering more carries than him. Standing at almost two metres tall, the sight of Botman striding out of defence is something to behold and Liverpool fans could be seeing a lot of it over the coming years.


5. Ever Present

Botman is already a senior figure in Lille's squad
Botman is already a senior figure in Lille's squad / Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Stepping into the shoes of the departing Gabriel was always going to be a challenge, but that has not fazed Botman.

Despite being just 20 years old he has already established himself as undroppable from Christophe Galtier's side.

He is one of four outfield players to not miss a single minute of Ligue 1 action so far. His solid performances have been key in Lille mounting a surprise French title charge this season.


6. He Could Be Available on the Cheap

Lille are one of many clubs affected by the French football crisis
Lille are one of many clubs affected by the French football crisis / John Berry/Getty Images

The ongoing French football crisis - caused by the collapse of a multi-billion euro television deal - means many Ligue 1 clubs may be forced into selling their top stars.

Because of this, Botman could be available for a knockdown price, despite only arriving at Lille in the summer.

Les Dogues are reported to be demanding €50m for the defender but depending on how things developed over the coming weeks, offer of €30m may start to look pretty appealing.

It would represent a 200% profit on their investment, funds that could go a long way to securing the financial future of the club.


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