Newcastle United star looking for ‘new opportunities’ after World Cup snub

The Magpies centre-back was unlucky not to secure a place on the plane to Qatar.

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Newcastle United defender Sven Botman has admitted he ‘hoped’ he would be called up to the Netherlands World Cup squad - but is now looking for ‘new opportunities’ after the tournament.

The former Ajax centre-back has been in fine form since moving to Tyneside in a £35m deal from French club Lille during the summer. After making his full debut in a goalless draw at Brighton and Hove Albion, Botman has gone on to 15 appearances in all competitions as Eddie Howe’s side have made an impressive start to the season.

His form at the heart of the back four has led to the Magpies conceding the joint fewest goals in the Premier League, with United and leaders Arsenal shipping just eleven during the opening three months of the campaign.

Botman received special praise from Howe recently, with the Magpies boss saying: “Of course, he’s very young, he’s only had a handful of games in the Premier League, so he hasn’t had the longevity that he needs to say that over a longer period of time, and that’s the challenge for him, to hit those consistent levels that he needs to. On the ball, he is outstanding. Technically he is very high level and can play short and long passes. He has all the tools. He has got an understanding very quickly and picked up the pace of the Premier League very quickly, the physicality.”

Botman was named in a provisional World Cup Finals squad by Holland manager Louis van Gaal - but missed out on a place at the tournament when the former Manchester United boss finalised his selection to 26 players. Speaking about the decision, Botman admitted he is already looking to the future and to impressing a new manager when Van Gaal steps down at the end of the tournament.

He told Dutch outlet Voetbal International: “I had not counted on it happening because I have not been called up before under this national coach and I am yet to make my debut for the Dutch national team. Only because things went so well at Newcastle in recent weeks, of course, I hoped for it. Hopefully, there will be new opportunities under the new national coach.”