Reported West Ham and Watford target makes £8m move elsewhere – HITC
Seven days ago, reports emerged via FootMercato suggesting that another Ajax prospect could be on his way to England.
West Ham and recently relegated Watford were both apparently interested in 20-year-old Botman, a Dutch youth international who caught the eye with his mature performances on loan at an underachieving Heerenveen side in 2019/20.
But, just a week later, the Hammers and the Hornets have both kissed goodbye to their hopes of luring Botman to Britain.
“We are very proud to sign Sven Botman, a very talented young Dutch defender,” Lille CEO Marc Ingla says after sealing an £8 million transfer.
“He has already shown a lot of qualities both in club and in his brilliant career in national youth teams. He is a very combative player, very solid and efficient in duels. Add to that his good technical quality.”
Botman, a 6ft 3ins giant who honed his 83 per cent pass completion rate at the home of Total Voetbal, is expected to replace the exit-linked Gabriel Magalhaes at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.
“I’m very happy to be a LOSC player. I come from a big club and I join another big club,” he adds.
A West Ham side expected to sell bench-warmer Fabian Balbuena will now be looking elsewhere for defensive reinforcements, as will an error-prone Watford side who conceded 64 times en route to relegation.
But, amid links to Cedric Kipre and Chey Dunkley, both West Ham and Watford could find a solution to their problems at cash-strapped Wigan.