Howe: Botman could be one of the Premier League's best centre-backs

Sven Botman could become one of the Premier League’s greatest ever centre-backs, according to Newcastle boss Eddie Howe… while Alexander Isak should be back in contention for Magpies’ friendlies in December

  • Eddie Howe thinks defender Sven Botman may be a future Premier League great
  • The Dutch signing from Lille has yet to feature in a losing Newcastle United side
  • Meanwhile, Alexander Isak should be back for Magpies’ friendlies next month 

Eddie Howe believes Sven Botman is capable of developing into one of the best centre-backs in Premier League history.

The Dutchman cost Newcastle just £32million from Lille in the summer and is yet to play in a losing side this season.

Botman has very quickly emerged as a fan favourite and they say he is the club’s best defender since Jonathan Woodgate.

And, given he is only 22 years old, Howe is confident they have a player who go to the very top of the game.

Sven Botman has been tipped to become one of the Premier League’s greatest centre-halves

‘Sven has the tools to be as good as any other centre half talked about in Premier League history,’ said the head coach.

‘On the ball, he is outstanding. Technically, he is a very high level and can play short and long passes. He has all the tools. He has picked up the pace of the Premier League very quickly, the physicality, and he is an integral part of where we are.’

‘I don’t see a weakness in his game. But, of course he is very young.’

Alexander Isak should be fit again for when Newcastle United play a friendly in early December

Meanwhile, Howe says club-record signing Alexander Isak should be fit by the time Newcastle play Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal in Riyadh on December 8.

The Sweden striker suffered a thigh injury shortly after joining the club for £60m in August, and Howe has given an update on his recovery.

‘We would hope he is fit for those games (in December),’ he said. ‘He is in the early stages of his injury now. He has had two injections into his thigh and was given a five-week diagnosis. These things can change with muscle injuries. We are taking it slowly because there is no need to rush him initially. We hope when we start training again (during World Cup) he can join in with the group.’

Eddie Howe said Isak would be supported as he aims to come back into the Newcastle fold

Of Isak’s mental state – he had played only three times before being injured – Howe added: ‘He’s naturally disappointed. When you come to a new club, you want to make an instant impression. To be fair to him, he did. He scored two goals in three games.

‘He just wanted that to last longer, to get a feel for the Premier League and enjoy it. It’s very difficult at a new club when you’re injured and out for a sustained period, like he has been. We will look to support him and get him back as quickly as possible.’

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