The Magpies are now unbeaten in their last five matches in the division and have won two of their last three outings, beating Fulham and Brentford prior to their trip to Manchester.
Sven Botman played a major role in the draw as he put in a sublime performance at centre-back, winning 100% of his duels as he kept out the likes of Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Eddie Howe previously described the Dutchman as “outstanding” and journalist Josh Bunting once claimed that the centre-back is “dominant” in the air. His statistics in the Premier League back that up as he has won 83% of his aerial battles in the Premier League.
The reporter also called him a “real leader” at the back, which suggests that he offers quality on and off the pitch with his leadership and his defending.
Botman has been excellent since making the move from Lille and Howe could unearth the next version of the former Ligue 1 enforcer in academy talent Remi Savage.
The 20-year-old played against Doncaster in the EFL Trophy earlier this season and put in a sublime performance. He was given a SofaScore rating of 7.7 as he won 75% of his duels, completed 86% of his attempted passes and made a whopping seven clearances.
This performance offered an insight into how he could adapt to playing at senior level as he put in a fantastic display against a League Two side.
He was physically dominant against professional players and was composed on the ball, much like Botman has been in the Premier League for the first team – completing 88% of his attempted passes.
The youngster has captained the U21s this season, which suggests that he also has leadership qualities, and he made 57 appearances for Liverpool between U18 and U21 level prior to joining the Magpies.
Indeed, that leadership is something Liverpool U18 boss Barry Lewtas singled him out for, saying he led “by example” in his teams.
Savage has played four times in the Premier League 2 this season and Howe may take a closer look at the left-footed defender if he can continue to catch the eye at youth level.
His performance against Doncaster was extremely promising and he must now prove that he can do that on a consistent basis to show that he has the potential to be the next left-sided titan at the back for Newcastle – following in Botman’s footsteps.