West Ham United have reportedly identified Lille’s emerging defender Sven Botman as a top defensive target for next season.

According to the Evening Standard, West Ham United are planning ahead for the new season and have identified Sven Botman as one of their top targets in the summer transfer window. The LOSC Lille defender is rated highly in the West Ham camp, with David Moyes considering him as a long-term defensive partner for Kurt Zouma.

It is no secret that the Hammers are gearing up for a summer of change, especially in defence. Their reliable defender Angelo Ogbonna has been out with a serious injury, while Issa Diop could leave the club at the end of the season, amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain, among other clubs.

It has accentuated the need for a new defender in the summer, with Botman emerging as an ideal option due to his imposing figure at the back, coupled with his no-nonsense defensive mentality that goes hand in hand with Moyes’s philosophy.

At the age of just 22, the Dutchman has shown immense talent, featuring in 75 competitive appearances for Lille and building a formidable partnership alongside Jose Fonte. Their collective contributions in defence were vital in helping Les Dogues seal the Ligue 1 title last season, leapfrogging PSG in the process.

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Botman’s physical and aerial dominance has put the Premier League clubs on red alert, with Newcastle United likely to go all out for him in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Despite recent reports that suggest the Magpies could have a significantly low transfer kitty than initially expected, they are still expected to commit themselves to sign the Lille starlet after missing out on him in January.

But West Ham’s apparent entry in the chase makes things interesting and certainly bodes well for Lille, who might be in a position to attract a potential bidding war in the summer. Given Botman’s age and potential, coupled with his long-term contract at Lille, the reigning French champions can surely fetch a hefty amount for the services of the Dutchman in the new season.

West Ham have no shortage of alternatives, though, having also targeted Sheffield United defender John Egan and Liverpool outcast Joe Gomez, among many others. Whether or not the Londoners can land any of their top targets in the summer remains to be seen.

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