NEWCASTLE: Star summer signing Sven Botman’s Newcastle United development will not be rushed, insists head coach Eddie Howe.
The Netherlands youth international has so far been the Magpies’ stand-out signing of the summer, having arrived on a $36-million deal from Lille on July 1.
Howe, though, opted not to hand the 22-year-old his full debut on the opening day against Nottingham Forest, instead retaining his central defensive partnership from last season, Dan Burn and Fabian Schar.
Ajax academy graduate Botman did get his first taste of Premier League action off the bench, however, as a 90th-minute sub.
“The more training time we can get into Sven, the better,” Howe said.
“But every situation is very unique. You can never blueprint because that changes within seconds sometimes.
“The more training, the more he gets to understand how we want him to play and his teammates around him will serve him very well.
“I’ve been very pleased with him in pre-season. Him not playing (against Forest) wasn’t a reflection on his performances, he’s been excellent.
“As I said after the game, it was about keeping continuity in our backline that performed very well during the back end of last season.
“Sven’s got a huge part to play.”
The Magpies head to Brighton and Hove Albion today, looking to make it two top-flight wins out of two.
They face a side, though, who recorded their first win at Old Trafford against Manchester United, and who have one of the most respected managers in the English game, Graham Potter.
“Brighton are a very unique team. When you play them, you have a huge challenge on your hands,” Howe said.
“Tactically, I think they’re excellent — Graham (Potter) has done an amazing job there and it’s well documented how innovative and forward-thinking he is.
“Watching the game against Manchester United was a really interesting one from a tactical viewpoint so we’re going to be challenged.
“Every game is different in the Premier League but this one is a big challenge and we’re going to need to respond to it. It’s very different to Nottingham Forest — we’re away but we have prepared for Brighton and hope we can impose our style on them.”
One of Newcastle’s stand-out players from last term started 2021/22 as a Seagulls’ player.
Center-half Burn was a revelation for Howe after making the January switch north — and the head coach is expecting more of the same at the Amex Stadium this afternoon.
He said: “Dan’s an incredible professional. He’s been outstanding for us since he signed for the football club.
“I know it will be a big day for him and probably an emotional day in some ways, going back to a club that he’s performed very well at and consistently performing at a high level.
“I’m sure he’ll get a good reception and welcome for everything he gave Brighton.
“He has been a real presence in the training ground and a very calming influence. He’s got good experiences in the game and has never had it easy.
“He’s had to graft to get into the position he’s in now and he’s not prepared to let that go easily. He’s very popular in the dressing room and the lads look up to him.”