Newcastle: Ashworth can make 'hell of a start' with £34m star at St James' Park

Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth looking into the distance

Newcastle United’s new sporting director Dan Ashworth could make an excellent first impression if he can tempt Sven Botman to St James’ Park, claims transfer insider Dean Jones.

Ashworth has now officially started his role at the North-East club after joining from Brighton, and he looks to be getting straight to work.

What’s the latest news involving Botman?

Newcastle have been interested in signing Botman since January, with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirming that the Magpies had three bids turned down at the start of the year as the centre-back opted to stay at Lille for the rest of the season.

However, Romano has now revealed that Newcastle still want to sign Botman, and he is their “main target”, although they face competition for his signature from AC Milan.

The Times recently reported that Ashworth is trying to convince Botman to choose Newcastle over Milan this summer.

Botman could become Newcastle’s second signing of the summer, as they are closing in on landing Matt Targett permanently after he underwent his medical on Wednesday.

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What has Jones said about Ashworth trying to sign Botman for Newcastle?

Jones thinks it would be huge for Newcastle if they land Botman, and he has suggested that Ashworth would immediately go into the fans’ good books if he can get a deal over the line.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “It’d be a hell of a start to the job if he can convince Botman to turn down the Serie A champions to join Newcastle. That’s what he’s been brought in for. That’s the level of ambition they want him to show, the level of persuasion they want him to have over players. It’d be a real coup if he could do that.”

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How good is Botman?

At just 22, Botman is widely considered one of the most promising central defenders in Europe right now, which is why Milan are also keen on signing him.

The Dutchman won Ligue 1 with Lille in 2020/21, and he has had another solid season in France, with WhoScored ranking him the team’s third-best player across the course of the campaign.

His average match rating of 6.83 was only bettered by one of Newcastle’s current centre-backs – Dan Burn (6.98) – and the prospect of those two playing together next season under Eddie Howe will be exciting Newcastle fans.

Of course, Botman could still opt to move to Milan, and this would not be a great surprise given that they can offer him Champions League football straight away.

However, if Ashworth can work his magic and bring Botman, who is valued at £34m by CIES, to St James’ Park, it would be another step in the right direction for Newcastle as they would be signing a player who looks to have a big future ahead of him.

GiveMeSport Transfer Update With Dean Jones
GiveMeSport Transfer Update With Dean Jones
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