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CHN End of the Season Awards: Young Player (U23) of the Season

It’s time for the crew to hand out some deserved accolades, this time naming the Best Baby Magpie!

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

With the 2022/23 Premier League season already in the rearview mirror, this is the perfect time for our staff to hand out some awards for the campaign that was. Throughout the next few days, our staff will be sharing our picks for various season-long awards including our best players, most disappointing performers, best signings, and many others.

Feel free to disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to call us out on our BS if you hate our takes and to tell us why we are wrong in the comments section below!

After naming our personal Most Value Player for the season, today we have our writer picks for our Young Player of the Year. Does our staff agree?

Elijah Newsome — Sven Botman

It’s gotta be Sven Botman for me! We started off the season with Botman having a ridiculous streak in which Newcastle did not lose a single match when he started.

Usually, for players coming to the Premier League, there is an adjustment period where they need to get their bearings before they can actually contribute. We’ve seen this at Newcastle as it took Joelinton a season to even feel confident in the Prem, Miguel Almiron half a season to get adjusted, and even Bruno had a month-and-a-half-long adjustment period where he came off the bench before finally starting. This adjustment period is even more notable and required when you are a really young player like Botman. Other young men like Darwin Nunez, Antony, Mykhaylo Mudryk, and Cody Gakpo were not immediate contributors to their respective clubs, but Botman was different.

This whole season, Botman has played with the confidence of a Premier League vet. When tasked to defend some of the best players in the world, he simply shut them down. There was no adjusting to the physicality or the skill level—Botman came in and started contributing to one of the best back lines of the Premier League.

Towards the end of the season, we started to see some mistakes here and there, but overall he’s proved that he not only belongs in the Prem but might end up being one of the best defenders in the world as he continues to improve.

Antonio Losada — Alexander Isak

Graeme Bell — Elliot Anderson

I’m going to be a bit different here. The obvious candidates are Botman and Isak, right? That is true—both are amazing players and have done great things for us this season. But I’m going with Elliot Anderson.

Anderson didn’t get the game time he’d have hoped for this season but the time he spent on the pitch has been valuable. With each appearance, you could see the improvement in his game, and the result of hard work in training. There’s so much more to come from Anderson and I don’t think we quite know what his favored position is just yet.

Anderson’s performance against Nottingham Forest is the level he needs to sustain and/or exceed going into next season. He will be a massive part of the team next year, with the club playing in four competitions. The experience Anderson gained this season will serve him well with the increased game time he will get next campaign.

Adam Goffin — Sven Botman

“A Rolls Royce of a Defender.” This is the term often used by Newcastle fans to describe Sven. And he’s been just that this season for the Toon.

Botman has struck up a formidable partnership with Fabian Schär and his leadership and command of his box has been dominant. This Newcastle side conceded the same amount of goals as Manchester City, 35 for the season, and a large part of this has been down to Botman’s evolution on the left side of our two CBs.My favorite Botman moment of the season was when we were 4-0 up at Craven Cottage and coasting, and Decordova-Reid ghosted in to pull back a late consolation in the 89th. Botman was FUMING! It shows how much he wants a clean sheet, and strives for perfection. What a role model for those we bring in to learn from!

Surprisingly with how firm he is in the tackle, Botman only had 2 yellow cards in the league this season; firm but fair. Equally surprising is the fact that Sven has yet to open his scoring account for the Toon from set plays, as this was something he did to great effect for Lille.

Sven is a beast, and most importantly, he’s our beast!

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