Jurgen Klopp has found our very own Sven Botman

Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp (Photo by Lee Smith - Pool/Getty Images)
Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp (Photo by Lee Smith - Pool/Getty Images) /

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has found our very own Sven Botman, the Lille star who was linked with an Anfield move this season.

The Mirror reported that the Reds were interested in the Dutchman, who has been an important part of the Ligue 1 side this season.

Botman is in his first season in a top-five European league after joining Lille from Eredivisie side Heerenveen in the summer. After coming through the Ajax academy, where he impressed in the Dutch second tier by making 27 starts with Jong Ajax in 2018/2019, Botman played over 2,000 minutes in 2019/2020.

Liverpool don’t need Sven Botman

With only three seasons of football under his belt, with three different clubs as well, Botman is still an inexperienced player – even if he has potential.

Jurgen Klopp has his fair share of those, with Ozan Kabak, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips around the squad. And anyway, Liverpool may have found their own Sven Botman and can save themselves a fair bit of money.

The performance of Phillips against Sheffield United was incredibly pleasing and the former Bolton trainee showed what he’s about. Surprisingly, what he’s about is remarkably similar to Botman.

According to FB Ref, Phillips could be the man who provides some steal to the Liverpool back four. Botman does have slightly better defensive statistics, even on a per 90 basis, but these numbers could be influenced by the different styles of Lille and Liverpool.

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Where Botman makes slightly more tackles per 90 (1.51 vs 1.11), Phillips makes considerably more pressures per 90 (11 vs 7) while the two complete a very similar level of passes.

The stats might show that Phillips is a little better on the ball than we might think. His short and medium pass success rate is over 90%, although it does drop to 67% for long passes.

Botman has a similar range, although Phillips has made more passes while under pressure and that could indicate a cool head while Premier League attackers are running down on him.

While the Dutchman does do better, per 90, in tackles and interceptions, Phillips does enough and has shown enough ability with the ball, to convince Klopp that Botman isn’t required in the squad.