Matz Sels was interviewed during the Open Day at St. James’ Park and he has revealed he turned down offers from Premier League clubs to join manager Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United.
The 24 year-old joined us from Gent for around £5M and Matz was the first signing of the summer for Rafa.
And it was unexpected since we seemed to be well off for goalkeepers, but with both Tim Krul and Rob Elliot recovering from serious ACL injuries it’s turned out to be a good move by the manager.
Matz Sels – Newcastle goalkeeper
And it looks like Sels will start in goal for Newcastle on Friday at Fulham, although Karl Darlow has also looked good in goal for us during pre-season.
This is what Matz has said:
“There was also a few teams from the Premier League that was interested, but Newcastle is a really big club,” “It’s strange that they were relegated, but that’s football.
“I heard about the interest from Newcastle, had a talk with Rafa Benitez and was convinced of my choice.”
“It’s a team that doesn’t belong in the second division. Normally, it’s always a Premier League team – a top club in the Premier League. I was convinced of my choice.”
“I’m looking forward to Friday and the first game.” “In my career I always try to go step by step. Newcastle is a big club, so it’s a good step forward for me.”
“Hopefully, I can bring the team where it belongs.” “I think in every club you have a lot of good goalkeepers,” “Now here, there four or five good goalkeepers.”
“That’s good for the competition between us. I have to show that I’m worthy of playing.” “Hopefully, I can learn a lot. That’s the most important thing.”
“I think I’m the youngest, so I try to listen to the coach and the goalkeeping trainer Simon Smith.” “That’s what I can do and show myself in the games and in training.”
“I’m 24 now, which is still young for a goalkeeper.” “I have to improve a lot of things. Hopefully, I can do it here. The best way to do it is when you are playing.”
“It’s a Monday, so it’s crazy that there are a lot of fans.” “There were a few thousand. I heard in Belgium that the fans are fantastic.”
“There are a lot of tickets already sold, so that means that it has a lot of ambition. Hopefully, I can help bring this team to where it belongs.”
Matz comes across there as a young player who simply wants to improve his game at Newcastle.
He could become the number one goalkeeper at the club, but he will face huge competition from Karl Darlow and from Rob Elliot when he’s fit again.
We’re not sure of what will happen with long term number one Tim Krul, but 19 year-old Freddie Woodman, who signed a four year deal yesterday, will likely go out on loan for the season – to get first team games.
Matz was linked with Southampton and Middlesbrough, before he decided he wanted to play for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.
He seems a smashing last with a first class attitude and should do very well at Newcastle.