'That's my goal': Newcastle star now claims Liverpool have a 'great' player who he hopes to be like one day
Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

'That's my goal': Newcastle star now claims Liverpool have a 'great' player who he hopes to be like one day

Sven Botman has praised Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk after signing for Newcastle United.

Speaking to nufc.co.uk for the first time, Botman suggested that Van Dijk is the blueprint for which he bases his game on. The 22-year-old said that although he’s far from the Liverpool man’s level, he hopes to get there one day.

“I’m far from his level yet. I want to reach that, that’s my goal,” said the Dutchman.

“Virgil is a great defender but I’m far from his level. I think playing in the Premier League I can go faster to his level and I hope to be like him one day but I need a lot of time and a lot of matches. And I think Newcastle is a great environment to develop myself and become more like him.”

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

If he can get anywhere near Virgil’s ability, then Newcastle will have got themselves an absolute bargain at around £35m.

Virgil the reference point

Once again, Liverpool’s number 4 is seen as the standard bearer for what a modern-day centre-halve should be.

He may have slipped from the football world’s general consciousness during his injury stricken 2021. But this year Van Dijk has been back with a bang.

Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Understandably, the 30-year-old took a little while to get into his rhythm. Once he got up to speed though, he was arguably as good as we’ve ever seen him. For a player who claimed a Ballon d’Or runners-up spot, that’s saying something.

If things had gone differently, perhaps Botman could have been lining up alongside Van Dijk at Anfield by now.

Liverpool were heavily linked with the then Lille man before signing Ibrahima Konate. Instead, Botman now gets his Premier League chance at Newcastle.

Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

The two will inevitably line up together at some point for the Dutch national team. For now though, Botman is still having to work his way past reported Liverpool transfer target Matthijs de Ligt.

Van Dijk’s presence at Liverpool is a big bonus for The Reds when looking at potential new signings in defence.

With Joe Gomez’s future once again being called into question, Liverpool may yet need to use the big man’s allure once again this window.

Botman’s words are proof that with Van Dijk at the club, any centre-back would love the chance to learn from him.

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