Matz Sels could be set to face Newcastle United – Wonder if any sell-on clause and few quid for NUFC?
An interesting one as Matz Sels could be on his way back to England.
A bold move by Rafa back in 2016 when after relegation, he made the Belgian keeper part of his massive rebuild ahead of the Championship challenge.
A 24 year old Matz Sels brought in for £5.5m from Gent and he looked pretty decent overall, as he started the opening nine Championship matches, however, one serious flaw. Seemingly terrified of crosses and unable to deal with them. It all ended painfully on 24 October 2016 when in his ninth league start, Matz Sels was once again blamed for a goal, conceding late on in a 1-1 draw at Villa. He never played in the league again for Newcastle (just a handful of cup appearances followed, including a horrendous mistake at Hull in November 2016 when United led and looked to be heading into semi-finals of League Cup) and was eventually sold after two years at NUFC, for £3.6m to Strasbourg, United making a couple of million loss.
Back to the present day though, with the likes of Sky Sports and The Athletic reporting that after five and a half seasons as undisputed number one with Strasbourg in Ligue 1, Matz Sels could be set to play in the Premier League for the first time.
With potentially his first ever Premier League appearance against Newcastle United!
The media reports say that Nottingham Forest have agreed terms with Matz Sels and now only a case of whether Strasbourg and Nottingham Forest can agree a transfer fee for the now 31 year old.
Forest said to be desperately wanting to sign a new keeper and to now have given up on trying to get Sam Johnstone. Forest are away at Bournemouth on Sunday and that game would surely come too quick if the Belgian keeper did sign, however, there would then be a real possibility of Matz Sels making his Forest debut at home to Newcastle United the following weekend at the City Ground.
Sky Sports say that Strasbourg are looking for €10m (£8.5m) for the Belgian international, which would see them profit by around £5m on what they paid Newcastle United back in July 2018 (see below).
I wonder as well if Mike Ashley insisted on any sell-on clause back when selling Matz Sels, whether Newcastle set to bank a few quid from the profit Strasbourg look set to make.
The Mag – 27 July 2018:
Matz Sels has at last got his move away from St James Park.
Sold for a reported £3.6m to Strasbourg, a loss of a couple of million for Newcastle after Rafa recruited him two years ago.
As the weeks dragged by after a permanent move to Anderlecht failed, it was looking increasingly likely that the keeper could be staying at Newcastle.
However, good news all round and he joins a club that narrowly avoided relegation last season, ending up 15th in Ligue 1.
Strasbourg have a couple more friendlies lined up before kicking off their league season away at Bordeaux on Sunday 12 August.
Good luck to Matz Sels with his new club. Despite not getting a league game since September 2016 and dropped later that Championship season even from the bench, he was professional and didn’t moan. Also, he genuinely seems desperate to play football and no doubt has taken a wage cut to make this move happen, unlike those such as Marveaux, Obertan and Haidara who were happy to sit and do nothing to ensure they kept receiving higher pay at Newcastle.
Matz Sels interviewed by the official RC Strasbourg Alsace website:
Matz, what made you decide to sign in Strasbourg?
“The discussions I had with the leaders. There are some nice things to do in this club. It is also a big city, as attractive as Brussels. Racing made an effort to recruit me. I will give the maximum here. It’s a great challenge.”
You played in Belgium and England. You will discover the Ligue 1. What view do you have on the championship of France?
“It’s a good race, a difficult championship with big teams. It makes you want “.
You were in the first list of 28 players for the World Cup with Belgium, finally removed from the final list of 23. A big disappointment?
“Yes, I was disappointed but it’s part of a footballer’s life. Afterwards, I was a supporter of my national team. I have not given up and I will do my best to find the jersey of the Red Devils.”
How does it feel to play in the country that eliminated Belgium?
“Sometimes, in Belgium, it was said that it was unfair and that the best team was the Red Devils team. But when you beat Uruguay, Argentina, Belgium and Croatia, you just deserved to be world champions. “
Marc Keller, President of RCSA (Strasbourg):
“I am very happy that Matz Sels has chosen Racing.
“We were looking for an experienced goalkeeper. It was a priority for the club.
“Matz will bring his experience, both with his various clubs and with the national team of Belgium.
“For him, for the club and for all our supporters, I wish him the greatest possible success among us “.
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