Saudi Arabian consortium PIF completed their takeover of Newcastle United in October of last year and have enjoyed just over a year in charge of the club.
Newcastle are now sitting sixth in the top-flight table after 11 matches in the current campaign and the success could be put down, in part, to PIF’s work in the transfer market.
They have not been afraid of splashing the cash since arriving in England, in either of their two windows in charge so far. Back in January, they brought in Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn, Kieran Trippier, and Chris Wood on permanent deals.
Sven Botman, Alexander Isak, Matt Targett, who was on loan earlier in the year, and Nick Pope followed them in the summer to bolster Howe’s squad.
One player PIF have struck gold with is Dutch central defender Botman, who joined from Ligue 1 side Lille ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
“I’m delighted Sven is joining us. He is technically very good, physically very good and has a great attitude.
“At 22, he already has solid experience at the top level but he is at a great age to grow with this team.”
Chronicle journalist Charlie Bennett recently claimed that the machine has “scary potential” and his form in the Premier League this season, at the age of just 22, backs that claim up.
Botman has averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.10 in the top-flight for the Magpies, winning 73% of his individual duels and completing 87% of his attempted passes. This shows that he has been dominant out of possession and comfortable on the ball, whilst providing consistently impressive performances.
Meanwhile, Harry Maguire, who cost Manchester United an eye-watering £80m, has averaged a rating of 6.91 or lower since the start of the 2021/22 season. His new teammate Lisandro Martinez, who reportedly cost them £57m, has averaged a score of 6.88 in his ten Premier League outings so far.
These statistics suggest that Botman, who Josh Bunting described as “colossal” only this week, has been incredible value for money for Newcastle as he has been outperforming two centre-backs who cost considerably more money than he did.
At the age of 22, he now has many years ahead of him to develop and hone his skills in order to improve his performances on the pitch for the Magpies. Now, imagine how good he can be in a few years if he is able to grow because of Howe’s coaching and his experience in the Premier League.
If Maguire and Martinez are worth £80m and £57m respectively, then Botman could end up being worth far more than £32m, which is why PIF have certainly struck gold by signing him.