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.
“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.”