Sven Botman’s decision to leave international duty and return to Newcastle early to focus on club level has left Netherlands under-21 coach Erwin van de Looi ‘disappointed’.
After missing out on the Dutch senior side for the final international break before the World Cup, the 22-year-old was set to be part of his country’s under-21 set-up for upcoming friendlies with against Belgium and Romania.
Speaking to Voetbal International, Van de Looi has discussed Botman’s withdrawal and has hinted that it could affect the centre-back’s international future.
Van de Looi unhappy with Botman
He said: “I had telephone contact with Sven. We’ve talked about it. Of course I accept his decision, but I don’t understand him. It’s everyone’s free choice to come here, but I was disappointed with that announcement, that’s for sure.
“We are preparing for a European Championship, you would like to have everyone there. You also hope that everyone likes to come, but if they don’t, they don’t. Everyone has their free choice. But I don’t think it’s too convenient for him either.”
Howe may be pleased
However, with it now unlikely that the £18k-per-week gem will be part of the Dutch squad for the World Cup anyway given his lack of senior caps, it appears that he is fully focused on regaining his starting berth at St James’ Park.
Since his £35m summer move from Lille, the 22-year-old has started just four of seven Premier League games, with Dan Burn sharing responsibilities alongside Fabian Schar at centre-back, but this decision from Botman is likely to have caught Eddie Howe’s eye despite leaving his national team coach unhappy.