Paul Merson hails ‘absolutely outstanding’ Newcastle defender

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Former Arsenal attacker Paul Merson has singled out Newcastle United defender Sven Botman and praised him for an ‘absolutely outstanding’ debut campaign in the Premier League.

Botman, 23, joined the Magpies from French side Lille last summer in a deal worth £37m (Transfermarkt).

Although the Dutchman arrived as a highly-rated centre-back, given his inexperience in the Premier League, there were question marks over his ability to shore up the Magpies’ backline.

But quickly becoming one of the first names on Eddie Howe’s team sheets, Botman, along with his defensive teammates, have helped Newcastle United become the league’s most resolute sides after conceding just 27 goals in 33 domestic matches.

And speaking about the impact the former Lille centre-back has had on his new team, Merson, who spoke to GiveMeSport, said: “He’s been absolutely outstanding.

“For him to come into a new country and a new league and do what he’s done, has been brilliant. He has made the players around him better. He defends so well. Newcastle don’t give you a sniff any more and he marshals that back four in my opinion.”

During his opening season at St James’ Park, Botman, who has represented the Netherlands on 12 occasions, has started 30 Premier League games. He has yet to score his first goal in the club’s famous black and white stripes but with the Dutchman already cementing his place in the team for many seasons to come, it’ll only be a matter of time before the 23-year-old opens his Newcastle United account.

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