Rafa Benitez’ Praise For New Goalkeeper

Rafa Benitez has praised new goalkeeper Matz Sels this morning and he thinks that Matz can become a star in English football if he can adapt quickly.

Matz was voted Best Goalkeeper of Belgium for 2015 and will give Tim Krul, Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow competition this coming season for the first team goalkeeper jersey.

matz sels ireland

24 year-old Matz Sels in training last week in Ireland

Tim and Rob are still out injured with their ACL knee injuries and it looks like Tim could be sold later this summer once he proves his fitness, with Everton’s new Dutch manager Ronald Koeman said to be very  interested in taking Krul to Merseyside.

Sels signed on at the end of June for us for a reported £5M and Rafa Benitez had this to say this morning about him in the local press:

“Matz was the best keeper in Belgium in the last season.” “Obviously, we have to wait and see how he adapts to the Championship and the English style.”

“He has the physicality. He wants to adapt and to cope with the strikers. You have to be strong. It’s little things you have to adapt. I think he will be fine.”

“It’s always important to score goals.” “It wasn’t the best game on Saturday, but when you start the preseason you want to see little things – details, qualities and movement.”

“There were some mistakes too, so we have to keep working. All of them were doing well. We had chances.”

It’s between Sels and Darlow as to who starts in goal at Fulham on August 5th.

At the moment it looks like the Belgium U21 International has the edge, although Karl showed last season he too is a very good young goalkeeper.

We have some very good goalkeepers at Newcastle at the moment with 19 year-old Freddie Woodman starring for the England U19 side in the European U19 Championships taking place in Germany at the moment.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.