Newcastle United defender Sven Botman and four other players have been forced to withdraw from the Netherlands camp ahead of the Euro 2024 Qualifier games to be played this and next week.
Botman, along with teammates Cody Gakpo (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Joey Veerman (PSV Eindhoven), and Bart Verbruggen (Anderlecht), have already left the facilities where the Dutch have trained for the past few days with a virus, reports the KNVB.
All four were expected in the Netherlands’ senior squad for the qualifiers game against France scheduled for Friday, Mar. 24 in Paris.
.— OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) March 23, 2023
Sven Botman, Cody Gakpo, Matthijs de Ligt, Joey Veerman & Bart Verbruggen left our training camp this morning. They are suffering from a virus infection. Get well soon, boys.
ℹ️ https://t.co/rl3bdGKlWT pic.twitter.com/gOTOFCQj8U
No details have been provided about what caused the virus, the type of maladies that are affecting the players, etc. The four players have been replaced by just three substitutes: Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich), Kjell Scherpen (Vitesse), and Stefan de Vrij (Inter).
Botman, who signed a five-year deal with Newcastle last summer, arrived from Ligue 1 side Lille in exchange for an undisclosed fee quoted at around €37m by sources close to all parties involved in the operation.
The Dutch center-back missed the Netherlands list of players called up for the 2022 World Cup last winter and was expected to make his senior debut through the ongoing international window. That will need to wait for a while considering the news of his withdrawal and his subsequent return to Tyneside today.
Still just 23 years old, Botman has appeared for Holland’s U21 team in the past but not yet with his seniors. In fact, he’s played at all levels from the U15 up to the U21.
This is obviously eventually and inevitably going to change, as manager Ronald Koeman had finally called him up ahead of this week’s game against France.
Here’s hoping Botman can get healthy and collect his first cap later this year, most probably in the mid-June international window, following a fine first season with Newcastle in the Premier League.