Sven Botman strengths analysed amid Newcastle United transfer ‘super offer’

Sven Botman has been linked with a transfer to Newcastle United during the summer window.

Newcastle United’s attempts to strengthen their defence during the summer transfer window have reportedly led them back to one of their key January targets.

Links with Lille’s highly-rated Dutch centre-back Sven Botman were well-reported at the time and United made several unsuccessful offers before turning their attention towards an ultimately successful bid for Brighton’s Dan Burn.

Burn’s partnership with Fabian Schar played an integral role in the Magpies surge up the Premier League table as they claimed 38 points during the second half of the season to end the campaign in 11th place.

Despite that obvious progression, United will still look to add at least one centre-back to their squad during the close-season with the future of a number of other defenders open to question.

It seems likely Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez will depart and there have been reports Jamaal Lascelles could be allowed the leave if a suitable offer is received - although the Magpies captain is said to be determined to fight for his place.

Weekend reports have suggested Botman is now high on the agenda for Newcastle’s recruitment team as they look to make an early breakthrough in the transfer market.

The Dutchman looked likely to be on his way to Serie A giants AC Milan - but doubts have been cast over that move following quotes from director Paolo Maldini suggested they could now look elsewhere.

Newcastle are reportedly preparing a ‘super offer’ for the centre-back - but what would Botman bring to the Magpies defence if a deal can be completed?

NewcastleWorld takes a look at the stats behind a player viewed as a potentially key addition to Eddie Howe’s side.

A pass master?

Using statistics provided by WhoScored.com, the main standout point seems to be Botman’s impressive passing data.

The 22-year-old has completed an average of 59.2 passes during his 31 appearances for Lille and that number heavily improves on United’s most prolific passmaker in defence.

Unsurprisingly, that is Fabian Schar, but his 39.4 passes per game is dwarfed by Botman’s figure.

What makes the Dutchman’s passing data even more impressive is the fact his pass completion percentage also outstrips the men he could be sharing a dressing room with next season.

Botman’s completion rate of 88.2% is better than any current member of the United squad and sits 2.5% ahead of star midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.

Federico Fernandez actually has the best pass completion rate in the Magpies squad with 87.4% during a handful of appearances last season but none of United’s regular defenders managed a completion rate about 80% during the campaign.

Given Eddie Howe’s preference for defenders comfortable in possession of the ball, Botman seems to tick all of the boxes for the Magpies boss.

Time to concentrate

Another two of Botman’s listed strengths on WhoScored.com are his concentration levels and the fact he does not like diving into tackles.

Newcastle United could hijack AC Milan's deal for Sven Botman (Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP) (Photo by FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Data can back up those points with the powerful centre-back giving away an average of just 0.6 fouls per game during his 31 appearances for Lille last season.

That figure is bettered by Federico Fernandez (0.1) and Ciaran Clark (0.5) - although their reduced involvement at United has to be taken into account.

Of the Magpies regular centre-backs, Botman’s foul rate is marginally better than captain Jamaal Lascelles (0.7) and significantly improved on Dan Burn (1.3) and Fabian Schar (1.0).

Aerial ability

Botman boasts an impressive average of 2.4 aerial duels won per game for Lille during what could be his final season with the Ligue 1 club.

That places him third on the list when compared to Newcastle’s current centre-backs with Dan Burn (4.3) and Jamaal Lascelles (3.4) both faring better.

For further comparison, Fabian Schar’s rate is 1.8 per game, Federico Fernandez is 1.4 and Ciaran Clark is at 2.0.

Goalscoring threat?

United’s difficulties in providing a constant threat in front of goal were well-versed last season.

Although matters improved during the upturn in form during the second half of the campaign, the Magpies still only ended with a total of 44 goals in their 38 league fixtures.

Only three of those goals came from Eddie Howe’s current centre-back options, with Fabian Schar netting twice and Jamaal Lascelles getting the other.

Transfer target Botman matched that total on his own by scoring in Lille’s opening day draw at Metz, a home draw at Marseille and a 5-1 home hammering against eventual league champions Paris Saint Germain.

Conclusion

Although Botman would need time to settle into life in the Premier League, he would seemingly be a useful addition for Eddie Howe as he looks to push the Magpies further up the table next season.

The United boss has routinely discussed his desire to change the way his side play and Botman seems to fit nicely into his preferred style.

With comfort on the ball, a high pass completion rate and high concentration levels, the statistics seem to indicate the Dutchman would be a significant upgrade on the defensive options currently possessed by Howe.