Newcastle United star criticised by national team manager after shock decision

The surprise move was confirmed on Tuesday morning.

Sven Botman has ‘disappointed’ his international manager after the Newcastle United defender withdrew from the Netherlands Under-21s squad.

The Magpies centre-back was named alongside the likes of Bayern Munich star Ryan Gravenberch and former United target Mitchel Bakker for friendlies against their Belgian and Romanian counterparts over the next week.

However, Botman opted against linking up with the squad and informed manager Erwin van de Looi he would ‘focus’ on continuing his introduction to life on Tyneside during the international break.

That decision brought a strong response from Van de Looi, who insisted going on international duty should not be ‘too inconvenient’ for the former Lille centre-back.

He told Voetbal International: “I had telephone contact with Sven. We’ve talked about it. Of course I accept his decision, but I don’t understand him.

“It’s everyone’s free choice to come here, but I was disappointed with that announcement, that’s for sure.

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“We are preparing for a European Championship, you would like to have everyone there. You also hope that everyone likes to come, but if they don’t, they don’t. Everyone has their free choice. But I don’t think it’s too convenient for him either.

“You are working on something together and that sometimes includes friendly matches. I think you should be part of that if you are part of the group and that you should not cancel too easily.

“On the other hand, I’m quite simple: you have to want to come and otherwise you don’t. So we’re going to keep going with the guys we have.”

Botman will hope to reclaim his place in the United starting eleven when they return to Premier League action at Fulham on Saturday week.