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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Confirmation Of Matz Sels Signing – Newcastle Is A Big Club

10:48 am, Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 34 Comments

Newcastle have just announced officially the signing of 24 year-old Gent goalkeeper Matz Sels

Sels becomes Newcastle’s first summer signing under manager Rafa Benitez.

matz sels

Matz Sels signs for Newcastle United

Here’s the official announcement that has just been put on the Newcastle web-site:


Newcastle United have completed the signing of goalkeeper Matz Sels from Belgian side Gent.

The 24-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at St. James’ Park.

Sels – who won the Professional Goalkeeper of the Year award in Belgium at the end of last season – joined Gent from Lierse in January 2014, and went on to make 106 appearances in all competitions for De Buffalos.

After helping Gent to the Jupiler Pro League title in 2014/15, Sels was called up to the senior Belgium squad ahead of their qualifiers with Andorra and Israel in October 2015, having previously represented his country at every age group from under-17 to under-21 level.

He brings European experience with him to St. James’ Park, having featured in the Champions League for Gent last season, and he arrives on Tyneside having kept 18 clean sheets during his final campaign at the Ghelamco Arena.

Rafa Benitez said:

“I am really pleased to welcome Matz to the club. He’s a fantastic goalkeeper and many top clubs have been interested in signing him.

“Obviously we have injuries to Tim Krul and Rob Elliot which could be difficult for us in the first part of the season, so it was important to strengthen in this area to be sure we can make a strong start in the Championship.”

Sels added:

“I’m very pleased – I’m very happy to be here. In Belgium, Newcastle is a really big club, and that’s why I chose Newcastle.

“As soon as Newcastle showed their interest in me, and I spoke to the coach, Rafa Benitez, it was an easy decision to make.”


It’s interesting that Rafa has mentioned the injuries to both Tim Krul and Rob Elliot as one big reason Sels has been signed.

And Rafa is the one who drove this signing through from start to finish.

More signings are expected this week.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Contracts · Matz Sels · Newcastle News · Pre-season · Transfer News and Rumours

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 martoon // Jun 29, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Not as quick as me Ed 🙂

  • 2 G // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    One down, another 3 to go?

  • 3 lochinvar // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Just wondering what Townsend will do when Palace come down and we go up ?

    Hope Palace are having to pay him £80,000 a week plus – that should do wonders for the moral of their other players !

    No wonder England lost with the mindset of these wannabe mercenary players.
    Confirms the likes of Mr.Nolan and Mr. Barton and others as professional footballers not z listers.

    Proove me wrong Andros.

  • 4 lochinvar // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Roll out the Matz – you are very welcome Mr. Sels.
    Good to be part of the future

  • 5 martoon // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Rafa’s comments about the injuries to Krul & Elliot are interesting but then I guess he wouldn’t say “I’m dumping Krul on Everton so I needed a replacement” 🙂

  • 6 JamesToon // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Um lads I’m hearing a lot of rumours this morning that Matt Ritchie is close to completing a £12million move to the toon?? According to sky bet he is now 1/3 to join us.

    Really hope he would be an addition not just a straight replacement for Townsend. Them on both wings would rip up the championship and are both easily prem quality, both grafters.

    Dwight Gayle also I think will be a very good signing exactly what We need, pace. Think he’ll do well in the championship

  • 7 expatmag // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    Like I ssid before, if you dont want to play for us, sod off to some also ran like CP


  • 8 expatmag // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Ritchie and Gayle………with poits to prove

    Townsend. …sulking because he might miss out on playing for an inferior team like England????

    No contest

  • 9 Average_Contents // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    I’m not gonna be ‘all by matz sels’ don’t wanna be “all by matz sels’

    What does matz sels? Hopefully not rugs.

    I’ll get matz sels outta here.

    Sorry I’m extremely bored.

  • 10 Average_Contents // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Oh yeah, welcome, matz. Get it.

    Sorry again 🙂

  • 11 bettyswallocks // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    These inquests as to why England are habitual failures in the knockout stages of tournaments are a complete joke. The same old repetitive excuses are wheeled out time after time. We need to address the sport ‘s issues at grass roots level, we need to look closer at what is being coached at the academies blah blah forking blah.

    We need a modern thinking coach who can instill enough confidence in the players to pass the ball quickly and move around to receive it back again. To defend our box as an organised defensive unit and press the ball in numbers when we lose it. That’s it. The rest is all waffle and we’ve heard it all before.

  • 12 Average_Contents // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:29 AM


    Can’t see how his international anspirations would influence his decision just yet.

    There’s norhing coming up apart from friendlies.

    One season in the championship (hopefully) and he’ll be back in the prem ready for the world cup the season end if he performs.

    I can see why he’d want to leave to play at the top level but after we basically rescued him from spuds then a bit of loyalty wouldn’t go amiss. If he wants to go then let him.

  • 13 Average_Contents // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    *If he wants to go that desperately then let him.

  • 14 Bobbybee // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Some of the ‘in Rafa we trust’ appears to be on the wane. We’re in the Championship now and even little Palace have slightly more to offer right now. Some of us need to reduce our expectations slightly and allow Rafa to make his purchases that he feels strengthen the team. Until Andros is out the door, let’s not jump to conclusions. Stay calm, see what happens.

  • 15 Ron Knee // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    “Newcastle confident of securing a deal to sign Matt Ritchie from Bournemouth. Player understood to be up for the move.”

  • 16 The overrated Frenchman // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    I guess it will be good to have another Belgian-speaking player at the club with M’bemba and Mitrovic, because they came from Belgium too.

  • 17 expatmag // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:56 AM


    I would have thought the fact he was left out of the last euro squad plus playing 2nd division football would have a major bearing on hus decision.

  • 18 expatmag // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:58 AM



  • 19 Jib // Jun 29, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    M’Bemba is a Francophone
    Sels is Flemish
    Mitro spoke English at Anderlecht

  • 20 The overrated Frenchman // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Is that right Jib? Silly me..

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Hopefully he’ll stay. If he doesn’t it’ll make it all the more sweeter watching Pardew take them down while converting Townsend to a wingback.

  • 22 MrMojoRisin76 // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    SSN Gayle on way to Newcastle for medical

  • 23 martoon // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Lee Ryder ?@lee_ryder · 1m1 minute ago
    Gayle set to fly into Newcastle this afternoon

    So it looks like it could be both – I would say Ritchie is more likely to be a Townsend replacement.

  • 24 richyg01 // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Gayle on his way to NUFC for medical, terms already agreed.

    Sounding like he is going to be a bit of a makeweight in the Townsend deal.

    Ive always thought he was a decent enough player, and Im sure he will excel under Rafa.

  • 25 richyg01 // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    BREAKING: Sky sources: Dwight Gayle is set to have a medical at Newcastle:— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) June 29, 2016

  • 26 JamesToon // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Gayle coming for medical. Fantastic.

    Ritchie supposedly close to joining.

    We could tear up the championship!

    Please Townsend just stay and sacrifice 1 year of prem football!!!

  • 27 richyg01 // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:12 PM

    I see Sels and Mitro have met before…×560.jpg

  • 28 JamesToon // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Personally hope we try and get Reece Oxford on loan to replace Tiote, Charlie Taylor from Leeds as we need a decent left back. Turns centre half from any of Dunk/Batth/Lees/Keogh/Caulker

  • 29 SPRINGY // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    not going to knock gayle as i’ve not seen him play,so good luck to the lad..and hope he’s a success.

  • 30 Jail for Ashley // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    I’d like us to put a bid in for Jordan Rhodes but he probably wants a go in the PL. Should have bought him in January, couldn’t have done any worse than Doumbia. We need a big solid CB as well.

  • 31 The overrated Frenchman // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    richyg01 – on one of the YouTube compilations there’s a clip of Sels making a cracking save from a thundering Mitrovic header!

  • 32 Jail for Ashley // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    If Townsend turns this into a saga he’s not going to do himself any favours.

  • 33 SPRINGY // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    what about the icelandic cb….looked a decent player strong,fairly mobile and decent leader by the look of things…….no;6…..dont know his name like.

  • 34 Jail for Ashley // Jun 29, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    He might not fancy Palace but I’ve got a feeling he’s not commiting in case W Ham or Everton come calling. Possibly even Lpool as he looks better than Sterling at the moment.

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