Defender reveals why imminent Newcastle United signing attracted Liverpool interest
Sven Botman’s Lille teammate has provided an insight into Newcastle United’s soon-to-be newest signing.
The 22-year-old is on the verge of completing a move to the Magpies, with Botman expected to undergo his medical today.
United agreed a transfer fee - rumoured to be around £35million - on Friday evening to beat Italian champions AC Milan to his highly-rated signature.
Eddie Howe’s side have chased Botman since January and finally look to be getting their man in the 24 hours or so.
‘He can deal with the Premier League’
Fonte, the former Southampton man, who has been Botman’s centre-back partner for the last two years, told talkSPORT: “(I) only good things to say about him,” the Lille centre-back told talkSPORT.
“He is a great guy, great personality, hard worker, tall, fast, has great left foot, gives great balls between the lines and reads the game well.
“I loved every game we played together. He is good offensively and scores goals. He can deal with the Premier League.
“For sure, it’s going to be a great test for him but I think he can deal with it, 100-per-cent.”
‘He is a top player’
Speaking in February, when Botman was briefly linked with Liverpool, Fonte told the same radio station: “He is a top player.
“I must say I was surprised when he first arrived. I wasn’t expecting this level of quality, I was expecting a youngster with potential, but the guy is very composed; he’s mature for his age.
“He’s a defender, and by that I mean he likesto defend; he likes to play simple, he’s strong, he’s tall, he wins his duels, he doesn’t overcomplicate the game, he’s good on the ball, left-footed.
“He’s been doing extremely well since he arrived so yeah, no wonder there’s interest in him. It doesn’t surprise me (the links to Liverpool), not at all.
“If you analyse his performances this year, especially against the top teams we’ve played, you can be sure he can play at the highest level.
“He just needs to keep going, keep improving, keep adding experience to his arsenal and I’m sure he’ll have a great career, he’s been doing really, really well.
“His personality, his character, he is quiet but he understands the game and he wants to learn. He’s one of the first to arrive at the training ground, he’s a good professional, he likes to do his work and he’s hungry.”