April 24, 2024

Newcastle United already has a player who has proven himself in the absence of Sven Botman.
In a season of extraordinary injuries for Newcastle United, the news of Sven Botman’s extended absence surprised few on Tyneside.

On Wednesday evening, the Magpies confirmed that the Dutchman would be out for six to nine months due to an ACL injury. When you consider everything that has happened before, it seems almost inevitable.

His knee ailment, although labeled as a fresh injury, was initially injured in September, and probably the most remarkable part about this drama is that had taken a further two games to realise.

“I did my knee against Brentford but then played two games after that (without realising),” Botman told Sky Sports News in January. “It blew up the day after Sheffield United game and the scan showed some big damage in my knee.”

Once diagnosed, the following steps were unclear. After consulting with several physicians, the choice came down to surgery or a non-surgical rehabilitation regimen. Botman chose the latter, and Newcastle’s medical staff endorsed his decision.

Botman then skipped three months. He returned in December as a late substitute against Fulham at St James’ Park, much to the pleasure of his colleagues and supporters. Of course, hindsight is beautiful, but after another 12 weeks, Botman is back where he started. It’s a decision that both parties will probably regret, with the centre-back sidelined until at least September.

And judging by his recent performance, many people wonder if Botman has ever overcome the problem. It’s been difficult to see a player who did so well last season fall far short of such lofty expectations.

So, what happens now? The most important thing is that Botman recovers completely and quickly. The prospect of missing nine months is terrible, but the 24-year-old has age on his side. He, too, has pledged to return better.


Newcastle defender Botman ruled out for up to nine months | SuperSport


According to Bruno Guimaraes, Newcastle have 10 Premier League games left to preserve their season and qualify for Europe. A fully healthy Botman will be missed, but in club captain Jamaal Lascelles, United have a more than reliable backup.

And Howe understands this all too well, which is why the club recently exercised a one-year option in his contract, extending his stay at St James’ Park for an 11th year. From the Championship to the Champions League, Lascelles has been and continues to be an excellent servant, as well as a leader and role model on and off the pitch.

Prior to this season, he had not played much under Howe, but he has quickly developed a strong relationship with Fabian Schar. After demonstrating that between September and December, Lascelles will undoubtedly be backed to do the same.

When the summer transfer window opens, the need for a center defender will become clear, but for now, it’s up to you, Jamaal.

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