Newcastle United summer signing suffers World Cup heartbreak after international snub

The defender has made a big impression during United’s impressive start to the season.

Newcastle United defender Sven Botman has missed out on a place in the Netherlands World Cup Finals squad.

The former Lille centre-back has been in fine form during his first season in the Premier League after making a reported £30m move to Tyneside during the summer transfer window. After making his debut as a substitute in the opening day win against Nottingham Forest, Botman shone on his first start as he helped the Magpies battle to a goalless draw at Brighton and Hove Albion.

He came off the bench in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup third round win against Crystal Palace and helped preserve his unbeaten record for the season after being an unused substitute when Newcastle fell to their only defeat of the campaign at Liverpool in September.

Botman recently received high praise from Magpies manager Eddie Howe as he assessed the impact the powerful centre-back had made since his summer arrival. Speaking ahead of last weekend’s win at Southampton, he said: “I would not be here saying Sven can’t do anything because that would be wrong of me. He has the tools to be as good as any other centre-half talked about in Premier League history. I’m not saying those names, I’m just saying I wouldn’t put a ceiling on what he can achieve. He’s got everything, in my view, I don’t see a weakness in his game.

“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’s settling-in period looks to have been helped by a decision to remain on Tyneside despite receiving a call-up to the Dutch Under-21 squad last month. The 22-year-old opted against joining up with his international team-mates in a decision that was questioned by manager Erwin van de Looi.

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. 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."

It was confirmed Botman had received some reward for his impressive introduction into life in England when it was confirmed he had been named in Louis van Gaal’s preliminary squad for the tournament - but an official announcement released on Friday morning revealed he has been left out of the final 26-man selection that will take on Senegal, Ecuador and hosts Qatar.

The Magpies will still be represented at the World Cup Finals after Nick Pope, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier were named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. Bruno Guimaraes has taken his place in an impressive Brazil squad, defender Fabian Schar will be a key part of the Switzerland squad and youngster Garang Kuol was handed a call-up by Australia ahead of his move to Tyneside.