Saturday 16 December 2017

Newcastle goalkeeper Matz Sels completes loan switch to Anderlecht

Newcastle keeper Matz Sels has joined Anderlecht on loan
Newcastle keeper Matz Sels has joined Anderlecht on loan

Newcastle goalkeeper Matz Sels has completed a season-long loan move to Belgian champions Anderlecht.

The 25-year-old, who joined the Magpies in a £5million switch from Gent last summer, could play Champions League football once again next season having done so with his former club before his arrival at St James' Park.

A club statement said: "Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels has completed a season-long loan move to Anderlecht.

"The 25-year-old has returned to his homeland to link up with Rene Weiler's side - who won their 34th Belgian First Division A and will remain at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium until the end of the 2017/18 campaign."

Sels made just 14 appearances for the Magpies, nine of them in the Sky Bet Championship, during the first 12 months of his five-year deal.

He started last season as Rafael Benitez's first-choice keeper, but was replaced by Karl Darlow in September and was used only in the domestic cup competitions thereafter.

With Rob Elliot now fit after a long-term knee injury, Tim Krul back in contention following his loan spells at Ajax and AZ Alkmaar and youngster Freddie Woodman having played a key role in England's Under-20s World Cup triumph, there was always likely to be at least one departure this summer.

However, Benitez has already been linked with a series of keepers - former Manchester City man Willy Caballero and Napoli's Pepe Reina among them - and there could yet be further movement.

The Spaniard's hand has been strengthened in the last 24 hours by the departure of chief scout Graham Carr, giving him the greater say he wanted over transfers with the club still awaiting their first summer arrival.

Newcastle have been linked with a number of players in recent weeks since owner Mike Ashley confirmed that the manager would have a sizeable war chest with which to rebuild a side which won promotion from the Championship at the first attempt.

Press Association

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