He was hoping to make headlines in the Premier League but Matz Sels will certainly be making them in Belgium this coming season, if his move goes through.

On Tuesday (see below) we brought you news that the keeper had passed his medical at Anderlecht and a move was said to be imminent.

Wednesday has brought updates, with Matz Sels and Anderlecht both ready to seal the deal but Newcastle said to be being ‘difficult’.

The difficult bit may be linked to another update from the Belgian media, who claim that if the year loan deal goes through, Matz Sels will become the highest ever earner in the Belgian league.

The reports say his year’s salary would be 3m euros (around £2.6m), indicating that he is on £50,000 a week (52 x £50k = £2.6m) at Newcastle, with the ‘difficulty’ surely being Newcastle wanting Anderlecht to pay as much of that wage as possible.

It underlines how difficult it will be to shift many of the players Rafa won’t want this coming season at Newcastle, with so many not up to Premier League level but having been recruited on that level of wages – making it especially impossible to go back to the country they were recruited from.  Whilst Sels was signed when Newcastle were in the second tier, the likes of Mitrovic, Riviere, de Jong, Saivet and others were all signed when in the Premier League from abroad.

I looked around and couldn’t find up to date figures on what players in Belgium earn now but I did find info from two years ago.

In 2015 the average player in Belgian’s top league earned 250,000 euros (£220,000) a year, which works out at 5,000 euros (approx £4,400) per week.

Anderlecht players were by far the best paid in those figures and that will be the same today, in 2015 though, Anderlecht first team players still only earned on average 600,000 euros (£527,000) per year – which works out at 12,000 euros (approx £10,500) per week. A world away from the 3m euros per season (60,000 euros per week) that Matz Sels is/would be allegedly on,

The Mag – 20 June 2017:

Matz Sels has now passed his medical at Anderlecht and now the Belgian club are just waiting for the deal to be signed off so he can start training with his new teammates.

Voted goalkeeper of the year in Belgium (see photo above) before his move to Newcastle, Matz Sels was prepared to drop into the Championship to make a start in England.

It couldn’t have gone any worse really on a personal level for the keeper, he had won the league title in Belgium in 2014/15, then the following year played Champions League football (eight games) with Gent in his final season, only to be then dropped by Rafa Benitez after only nine matches. After the draw at Villa in September 2016, Sels didn’t start another league game and then in the later stages of the season was even knocked off the bench as Rob Elliot came back to full fitness.

However, it doesn’t appear to have knocked his reputation too much in Belgium and he has also maintained his place in the national squad despite getting no games at Newcastle.

Now signing for Anderlecht, he has every chance of winning another league title as he is joining the reigning champions, plus he will be back playing in the Champions League.

Herman Van Holsbeeck is Anderlecht’s Sporting Director/General Manager and has responsibility for coordinating transfer activity, he told Nieuwsblad that the Matz Sels deal us now as good as done…

“But the negotiations with Newcastle are more difficult than I expected.”

The Belgian newspaper say that Newcastle weren’t prepared to sell Matz Sels after buying him for £6.5m only a year ago, with a loan deal the only one on offer. A bit of a surprise for Newcastle fans who would have probably assumed that NUFC were happy to sell and suggesting that Rafa Benitez maybe still holds out hope for the goalkeeper, with a year out on loan potentially rebuilding his confidence and bringing him back to St James Park a better keeper.

Anderlecht have promising teenage keeper Mile Svilar and they want to reassure him that he is the longer-term future of the club, with the hope that the experience of Matz Sels can help bring him along during the one year loan period.

Van Holsbeeck:

“He (Mile Svilar) has talent, but we cannot afford to go with Svilar this season.

“If we manage to hire Sels for a year, Svilar has the opportunity to prove himself in the coming year.

“He will play (occasionally) but sporadically playing a match is different than playing each week.”



  • Carlo Ancelotti

    It seems when it comes to goalkeepers Rafa isn`t the best judge, is he.
    he of course won`t outshine Carr, but he`s getting there

    • HarryHype59

      Was Sels a Carr or Rafa signing? Either way he joins the long list of those who aren’t good enough.

      • Carlo Ancelotti

        if i had to put money on it i would bet that it was a Carr signing

  • HarryHype59

    For £6.5 m and 50k a week Sels should be good enough to be the automatic no 1 at our club, not being loaned out to gain confidence. The player recruitment policy at this club is still flawed. There have been too many duff signings, who are worth less than the club paid for them.

  • Rich Lawson

    Why not just bite the bullet and give him a free and they can put the transfer saving into his wages and be done with it ? He’s never going to be prem’ class in a million years.

  • Billy Ellwood

    Is the information reliable that we signed a player on £50k a week to play in the 2nd tier? It sounds rather irresponsible if we offered him way over anything a club in his own country would – and he was Belgium’s keeper of the year, but no Premiership club was interested?
    I saw a Championship at best keeper no way worth more than 20% of that reported salary.