Newcastle United have completed the signing of KAA Gent goalkeeper Matz Sels, after the Belgian stopper passed his medical on Tuesday afternoon.
Sels, who was being monitored by a number of Premier League clubs, made the switch to Tyneside for a fee believed to be around €4.5 million and signed on for a five-year-deal.
The 24-year-old is an accomplished domestic and international goalkeeper, after winning the Professional Goalkeeper of the Year award in Belgium last season and representing his home-nation Belgium at both under-17 and under-21 level.
He joined KAA Gent from Lierse S.K in January, 2014 and helped ‘The Buffalos’ become the champions of the Belgian Pro League in the 2014/15 season, after keeping a total of 18 clean sheets. Sels has gone on to make 106 appearances in all competitions for Gent during his two-and-a-half years with the club.
Further to bringing great domestic success, he brings European experience to St. James’ Park after appearing in the Champions League last season; the personal highlight for Sels being a fantastic one-handed penalty save just two minutes from full-time to ensure a draw with Lyon.
On his move to Tyneside, Sels commented:
“As soon as Newcastle showed their interest in me, and I spoke to the coach, Rafa Benitez, it was an easy decision to make”.
” I am very pleased, I’m very happy to be here. In Belgium, Newcastle is a really big club, and that’s why I chose Newcastle.”
Twitter: Just signed 5-years contract in Newcastle.. Proud to be a Magpie! @NUFC @KAAGent https://t.co/tRghSqj5yO (@MatzSels)
This makes Matz Sels Rafa Benitez’s first signing for the Magpies, and the delighted Newcastle boss went on to say:
“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”
“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.”
Sels now becomes the fifth goalkeeper in Newcastle’s ranks, he joins fellow stoppers Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman.
Krul has just returned from a season-long knee injury but is being monitored by former Magpies’ boss Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace.