Matz Sels picks up cup winners medal in bittersweet circumstances
Matz Sels was the very first Rafa Benitez signing as the manager looked to build a team to get out of the Championship.
A big surprise for Newcastle fans as a new goalkeeper didn’t appear to be a priority.
Not one of his best signings, Rafa’s new keeper started the first nine Championship matches but was a bundle of nerves with crosses/high balls into the box.
After conceding a last minute equaliser at Villa, Matz Sels never got another league minute for Newcastle.
Sels went on loan to Anderlecht last season and then was sold to Strasbourg for less than half of the £5m Newcastle paid Gent for him in 2016.
The move has been a success for both parties, as Matz Sels has played every minute of their 29 Ligue 1 games this season and they ave gone from been relegation battlers last season to safety already this season, currently sitting in 10th.
Saturday was League Cup final day in France and Strasbourg were up against Guingamp.
Matz Sels picking up a winners medal in a real fairytale story for a club who went into liquidation in 2011 and had to start again in the French fifth tier.
However, a bit of a bittersweet moment for Matz Sels, as he sat and watched from the bench but still picked up a winners medal.
As many clubs do in England, Strasbourg had played second keeper 22 year old Bingorou Kamara in the earlier rounds.
After beating Lille, Marseille, Lyon and Bordeaux, the Strasbourg manager kept faith in the second choice keeper for the final.
Kamara rewarded him with a clean sheet in the 90 minutes and extra time, then Guingamp failed with two of their penalties and Strasbourg scored all of their first four to lift the cup.
The silver lining for Matz Sels is that it means he will be back playing in Europe next season, as Strasbourg have qualified for the Europa League.
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