Newcastle can sign “elite” Botman partner in £70m star

Following on from the highs of last season was always going to be tough for Eddie Howe and Newcastle United, but with the halfway point of this year’s campaign now gone, it would be fair to describe 2023/24 as a disappointment.

The Toon are already out of the Champions League, tenth in the Premier League and look miles off of the European places.

However, with the number of injuries and unforeseen suspensions they have dealt with, it’s not all that surprising.


That said, one of the biggest on-pitch problems for the Magpies has been their porous defence, with 12 teams having conceded fewer goals than them, so fans should be delighted with the latest player touted for a move to St James’ Park as he could form the perfect partnership with Sven Botman.

Newcastle eye right-sided centre-back

According to a report from The Mirror last week, Newcastle are interested in signing Sporting CP’s exciting young centre-back Ousmane Diomande this month.

The publication has revealed that with the young Ivorian valued at £70m by the Portuguese giants, the Toon will likely have to break their transfer record to complete the deal, a transfer record that was set when Alexander Isak joined the side for an initial £58m in August 2022.


Unfortunately for the Magpies, it isn’t just the steep price they’ll have to contend with, as according to reports from Portugal, both Arsenal and Chelsea are also keen on the 20-year-old.

That said, if Newcastle can get this deal over the line, they could sign the perfect partner for Botman and secure their backline for the next decade.

Ousmane Diomande could be the perfect partner for Sven Botman

With Botman returning from his latest injury setback last month, he has resumed his role as the starting left-sided centre-back at Newcastle, often starting alongside Swiss international Fabian Schar.

Now, were the club to complete the signing of Diomande with the idea of pairing him up with the Dutchman, that would essentially spell the end of Schar’s time as a Newcastle starter, and while that could be seen as somewhat harsh on the 32-year-old, it would make the team stronger.

Ousmane Diomande for Sporting Club

This can be seen when the pair’s underlying numbers are compared, as in the majority of relevant metrics, the “elite” Diomande, as described by U23 scout Antonio Mango, comes out ahead.

For example, he wins more tackles per 90 and wins a far greater portion of the tackles he makes. Moreover, he is better in the air than Schar, a more competent passer, and he recovers the ball more often.

Ousmane Diomande vs Fabian Schar

Stats per 90



Passing Accuracy



Tackles Won



Percentage of Tackles Won









Ball Recoveries



Aerial Duels Won



All Stats via FBref for the 2023/24 Domestic Season

Described as a defender who “thinks faster than others” by Mango, Diomande would be an instant upgrade on the Swiss veteran, and the fact that he is right-footed means that he could slot right into the Toon’s backline and not disrupt those around him.

Ultimately, with defence the Magpies’ most significant on-pitch problem this season, the signing of Diomande would go a long way in helping to solve it, and alongside Botman, the pair could form a long-term and effective defensive partnership at St James’ Park.

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