Things to know about the Dutch Defender
Although Liverpool have done remarkably well following injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, they are still likely to dive into the transfer market to bolster their defensive ranks in January.
The most recent name to cite is Sven Botman, who has already made a strong impression since arriving in Lille this summer.
According to Get French Football News, the Reds contacted Les Dogues in November about a possible transfer – but they face competition from Inter to secure his signing.
Haven’t you seen Botman play before? Do not worry. Here is everything you need to know about Dutch.
Ajax’s young talent conveyor has been operating for many years. Could Botman be the next Matthijs de Ligt? He certainly has a similar origin story.
Botman completed his entire football education at Ajax, joining the club in 2009 and rising through the ranks, playing with players like Sergino Dest, Ryan Gravenberch and Mitchel Bakker along the way.
After struggling to break into the first team, he was loaned to Heerenveen where he was the receiver of 4-1 and 3-1 losses to his parent club.
If Liverpool don’t surprise him ahead of time, Botman could have a chance for revenge when Lille face Ajax in the Europa League round of 16 in February.
Botman has been among the top rated Dutch prospects from a young age.
He has played for the Netherlands at the Under-15, 16, 18, 19, 20 and most recently at the Under-21 level.
The only feather that his cap lacks is its senior appearance. His wait almost ended in the last international break, with Botman called up to Frank de Boer’s squad for the Nations League matches against Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, he never got off the bench.
Maybe next time Sven.
To be successful as a modern day center-back, having impressive passing range is essential.
Based on the evidence from this season, Botman appears to be a bit of a passing master. At the time of writing, he has made the fifth most assists in Ligue 1.
Not all of them are sure either. Botman ranks seventh for progressive passing distance in the division and only nine outfielders have made longer passes (over 30 yards) than him.
As well as being a great passer, Botman is also proficient in possession.
His Lille teammates are confident giving him the ball and he has racked up the fifth most touches in Ligue 1 so far.
He is also more than comfortable to drive from behind, with just six players recording more runs than him. Standing almost two meters tall, the sight of Botman coming out of the defense is something to behold and Liverpool fans could see a lot over the next few years.
Getting into the shoes of the departing Gabriel was always going to be a challenge, but that didn’t scare Botman off.
Although he is only 20 years old, he has already established himself as unstoppable on the side of Christophe Galtier.
He is one of four outside players not to miss a single minute of Ligue 1 action so far. His strong performances were key at Lille as he mounted a surprise charge for the French title this season.
The current crisis in French football – caused by the collapse of a multibillion-euro televised deal – means that many Ligue 1 clubs could be forced to sell their top stars.
For this reason, Botman could be available at a great price, although he only arrives in Lille in the summer.
The Mastiffs are reportedly demanding € 50million for the defender, but depending on how things develop over the next few weeks, the € 30million offer could start to look pretty appealing.
This would represent a profit of 200% on their investment, funds that could go a long way towards securing the financial future of the club.