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Newcastle defender Sven Botman is withdrawing from the Netherlands U21 squad to focus on regaining the club spot

Sven Botman has withdrawn from the Netherlands U21 squad to reportedly focus on reclaiming a regular place at Newcastle.

Erwin van de Looi’s side face friendlies against Belgium and Romania this week, with Botman initially called up after being overlooked by Louis van Gaal for the senior team.

But the 22-year-old central defender withdrew from the U21 squad on Tuesday morning Newcastle echo He claimed he informed the Dutch FA of his decision because he wanted to focus “exclusively” on his club.

The centre-back has already been left out three times in the Premier League this season, most recently in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Bournemouth, and is now focused on reclaiming his place after the international break for the Fulham game.

Magpies boss Eddie Howe recently admitted that Botman – who joined Newcastle in the summer from Lille in a £35m deal – is currently behind Dan Burn in the pecking order and will continue to partner with Fabian Schar.

Howe said: “We handled their load in the week we had three games so that brought Dan back.

“I just feel his leadership qualities and his experience, that’s what we need in our team at the moment.

Sven will become an outstanding player and will play many, many games for this club. We love him dearly, but Dan is just getting the nod at the moment.”

Botman has made seven appearances for Holland at under-21 level and was first called up to the senior team in November 2020.

Botman revealed last month he had spoken to Howe after playing just one minute as a substitute in the season’s opening game against Nottingham Forest.

He told Chronicle Live: “I spoke to the gaffer about it. He had his reasons and I had to accept them.

“And in the end, everything happens for a reason. At the moment I’m happy and I’m playing. So I hope it continues like this and I will try to help the team as much as I can.”

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