Why Tottenham Should be in on Sven Botman in Summer Transfer

LILLE, FRANCE - JANUARY 6: Sven Botman of Lille OSC runs with the ball during the Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC and Angers SCO at Stade Pierre Mauroy on January 6, 2021 in Lille, France (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
LILLE, FRANCE - JANUARY 6: Sven Botman of Lille OSC runs with the ball during the Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC and Angers SCO at Stade Pierre Mauroy on January 6, 2021 in Lille, France (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images) /

While the idea of any done deal was muted as “fake news” the idea that Tottenham Hotspur are looking at Sven Botman should excite many fans. It is no secret Tottenham have struggled defensively and overlooked having an heir to Jan Vertonghen for too long and are now paying for that. At just 20 years old Sven Botman could be that replacement and more for Tottenham Hotspur if Spurs can make a deal with Lille in the Summer.

Tottenham were Interested

We know that Tottenham are in the market for defenders and given that the one central defender signed in the summer – Joe Rodon – cannot even be included in the Europa League squad, bringing in another defender midseason really did not make sense.

Nevertheless, the fact that Fabrizio Romano indicated Tottenham were looking into Botman in January, is hopefully good news for Spurs fans come this summer.

Who is Sven Botman?

Sven Botman is a 21-year old Dutch center back currently playing for LOSC Lille in Ligue One. Botman was drilled and grew up in the Ajax academy featuring more than 80 times for Ajax at the various youth levels according to transfermarkt.com.

Botman was loaned out last season to SC Heerenveen in the Everdivisie and then sold on to Lille this past summer, never featuring for the Ajax senior team. Judging by his performance in France, Ajax may have missed out on a talent and a major payday selling the young defender for about $8.8 million or about £6.3 million.

Sven’s value has skyrocketed over the last several months with a current estimated value of $27.5 million or £19.8 million. That would be anywhere from a double to tripling of Lille’s investment in a year, before anyone starts getting into any kind of bidding war for his services. So Botman has broken through in Ligue One so what is all the fuss about.

Botman is good at using his body to his advantage

At 21-years-old it is very possible Sven Botman may still be growing at over at 1.95 meters or about 6’4″ tall, Botman is an imposing figure. More long and lean, his body reminds one more of a John Stones or a Virgil Van Dijk than it does Michael Dawson. Then again, Dawes certainly filled out over the years.

The point is Botman is very long, with much of his height coming from his legs. He is able to reach through and beyond defenders from behind preventing a number of balls from even reaching his opponent. Additionally, with those long limbs he can stick a boot in from lots of angles and positions, reaching places many cannot.

Of course, as tall as Botman is, his ability to win the ball in the air by aggressively attacking it would be something very welcome at N17. If you watch some highlights, you see a young man who can find the ball well and then positions himself for attack, clearly coming from some quality coaching.

Sven has a really good left boot

As important as his ability to attack the ball in the air and use his long body to help defend in the modern game of football a defender has to be able to play with the ball at his feet. Federico Fazio was very good in the air and long, but his inability to play quickly with the ball at his feet under pressure made him a bad fit for the Premier League.

Botman with the ball seems a different breed of defender. If  you watch the highlights – again highlights we need to remember that – the first thing he does with the ball is get his head up. There are far too many players on Tottenham – not just defenders – that play with their head down when they get the ball. Botman’s ability to pick up his head and scan the field comfortably with the ball at his feet helps spur a very good passing game where he completed over 85% of his attempts according to whoscored.com.

In addition to his presence on the field is the ping in his boot. You will see a number of shots of Botman launching the ball like a missile  from one side of the pitch to the next on a line with his left foot. Left being the key term given Spurs have no natural left-footed center-halves in the side. Add in good awareness and concentration to the left footed, big-bodied composure of a 21-year-old defender and it sounds like everything Tottenham needs.

Botman is not a perfect prospect

The one big question mark on Sven Botman seems to be his speed. Of course watching highlight films of a defender you are not going to see him get burned by pace but it is the one knock on the player floating around.

While a lack of pace might concern some Spurs fans – as it is a big part of Spurs problem now defensively – you do not need great pace to be a great center-half. Neither Vertonghen nor Toby Alderweireld have ever been known for being fast and at one point were the best duo in the world.

VVD is not exactly a blazer either, it is about awareness, control, and using your body when it counts. In that vein, Botman seems to fit and one can overlook that pace, knowing if you are where you need to be that pace is not as big of a deal. Ultimately, Botman is a great young prospect in a position of dire need for Tottenham. Whether that ever leads to anything remains to be seen, but we at HotspurHQ are pushing for Botman at Tottenham.

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