Newcastle United centre-back Sven Botman has suffered an apparent ankle injury after a collision in the game at the weekend saw him limp off the field.
Botman landed awkwardly on the ground after contesting for a header and straightway looked in pain as he held his leg.
The 23-year-old had to leave the field as a result of the injury in the 87th minute of the game with the assistance of the Newcastle physios. Darwin Nunez scored the winner for 10-men Liverpool shortly after to rub salt into Newcastle wounds.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, when asked about the injury after the game, said: “It looks like an ankle problem. I don’t know how bad it is. I wish him [Botman] a speedy recovery.”
The Magpies suddenly look a little short in defence as Botman’s defensive partner Fabian Schar is out with injury as well. Jamaal Lascelles and Dan Burn are now the only two senior centre-halves available to Howe.
Burn has been operating as a left-back since last season and hence the English coach could choose to give an opportunity to youngster Alex Murphy, who impressed at centre-back in preseason. The 19-year-old Irishman has not featured at the highest level yet though and starting him could be a risk.
Botman is a huge figure in the Newcastle ranks and missing him could be a huge blow for the team. Talks around St. James’ Park suggest that the club could dive into the transfer window this late to fill the gap.
Howe was asked on Friday about more potential incomings and he said: “Unless something happens to a couple of players in one position before the window shutting, then we won’t be adding to the squad,” suggesting there is room for additions now that Botman is injured.
He was also asked about signing a new centre-back after the Liverpool game and he said: “We’ll have to wait and see. We’ll speak to the medical team and see how bad Botman’s injury is first.”
There is a chance that the Magpies will be looking to sign a new centre-back in the last few days of the summer transfer window. Reports around the club have suggested that they could reignite their long-term interest in Sporting centre-back Goncalo Inacio. The Portuguese could cost them around £60 million and that is the price they will have to pay to find a good enough replacement for Botman.
Newcastle paid £35 million for the Dutchman when they signed him from French club Lille in 2022. He has grown into one of their most important players over the last year forming a formidable partnership in defence with Fabian Schar.