The Dutch International Defender That Could Boost Spurs Or Liverpool Title Hopes

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Both Tottenham Hotspur and current Premier League champions Liverpool will be hopeful that they can add silverware to their trophy cabinets this season, as they’re both still well placed in numerous competitions.

Yet when you look at both of the side’s squads, they could probably do with another capable centre-half.

Liverpool have clearly being missing the influence that comes with having Dutch international captain Virgil van Dijk in their backline as he has been missing for a fair amount of this campaign due to an ACL injury. It was initially feared that the defender would miss the rest of the season (Source Talksport) but he could possibly return ahead of schedule.

As well as having Van Dijk, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will know that fellow centre-backs Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are also pretty injury prone (Gomez is also currently out and Matip has missed recent fixtures too).

In Liverpool’s last league outing (a loss to Southampton) they started with midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson as their defensive duo.

At Tottenham Hotspur, they have an experienced centre-back in Toby Alderweireld but the question this season has been who to play beside the Belgian?

I don’t believe Jose Mourinho fully trusts Colombian international Davinson Sanchez, who does seem to have a few mistakes in him. Joe Rodon arrived in the last transfer window from Swansea City but he has only made one Premier League appearance since is arrival. I don’t think that means the end for Rodon, just that Jose believes he might not be ready for the English top flight.

Englishman Eric Dier has dropped in from midfield to play as Alderweireld’s partner at the back in fifteen league games so far this season. The England international started his career as a centre-back and hasn’t looked out of place there but you do wonder if Mourinho would like to add another defensive face to strengthen up numbers as Spurs head into the second half of the season.

A name that might be on both Liverpool and Tottenham’s radar could be Lille OSC defender Sven Botman.

The twenty-year old joined the Ligue 1 club back in the summer and he has impressed with his displays in heart of their defence.

The towering centre-half commands his penalty area whenever the ball enters via crosses. His aerial ability has really caught the eye. On average he wins around 3.7 aerial battles per league game with Lille (Via Whoscored).

He also seems to take him time in making the perfect challenge. The young defender isn’t blessed with electric pace but his intelligence and his diligence makes up for that as he picks his moment to make the tackle.

Sven also uses his strength well in bullying opponents while on the ball and taking it off of them too.

The Dutch player is also composed when in possession and he has a passing success rate above 86% during his first nineteen league games in France.

He can play on the left side of the defence which might suit the likes of Alderweireld and Van Dijk.

Their experience would also allow Botman the chance to shine. Current Lille boss Christophe Galtier praised Sven and how he has been able to listen to and learn from experienced partner Jose Fonte:

“The fact that he has an experienced player alongside him in José Fonte allows him to be led, guided and ensures he is in the right positions, and he is very receptive to the little corrections we make to his game during the week in training,” 


Quite a few of Jose Mourinho’s backroom staff used to ply their trade at Lille, so they’ll have the contacts to find out more about the player. While Botman’s performances in France has seen him win a call-up into the Netherlands senior squad, so Georginio Wijnaldum will have first hand insight into the youngster.

Sven Botman does seem to be a player that can come in now and help out either Liverpool or Spurs as they head into vital times within their seasons, especially if more injuries crop up. But he’s also one for the future and then you have to remember the current financial strain Lille might be under.

The Ligue 1 side were recently sold due to financial issues (Via Get French Football News) resulting from a collapse in the TV deal and with Covid-19. That could mean that the new owners might decided to cash in on a few players to put the club on a better financial footing.

I am guessing it would definitely be worth the time of Liverpool and Tottenham’s scouting departments to run the rule over the young defender and ask if a deal can be done?

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