Newcastle fans absolutely love it when they’re under the cosh in tight games knowing that they have the ever-reliable Martin Dubravka behind their sturdy defensive line. However, that hasn’t always been the case as back in the 2016/17 season Matz Sels was signed, and the Belgian had a shocker in his debut season before being loaned out and sold.
In truth, it was always going to be a baptism of fire for the then-24-year-old in his first season in English football. He came to St James Park as Rafa Benitez’s first signing at the club and it wasn’t long before the Geordies realised he wasn’t up to the task, despite a promising season the campaign before with Gent. Now though, the one-time Belgian league champion is back on track in Ligue 1.
The shot-stopper is now 27-years-old and is thriving with his torrid spell at Newcastle United behind him. Plying his trade for Strasbourg, he’s helped the French club remain solid in their second season in France’s top flight after their promotion from Ligue 2 back in the 2016/17 season. It’s a far cry from the shocker he had in the North East of England, and he won’t be looking back anytime soon.
In his debut season with Strasbourg, Sels has already proven his worth. His performances in the domestic league have helped the club to a sturdy 11th place in the table, and a top half finish is still on the cards if results go their way for the final two games. Whatever happens, he has already proven to be worth his salt and has bounced back well from his Newcastle failings.
At the age of 27-years-old, there is still loads of time for Sels to recover and maybe even make a return to England. His top-flight form in France shows he’s capable of making a name for himself in England, and he certainly has unfinished business after flopping so hard at St James Park. For now, though, as Dubravka and Newcastle are flying and Sels is settled, it seems everything has worked out.
Newcastle fans, what are your standout memories of Sels? Join the discussion by commenting below…