Returning Newcastle keeper Matz Sels eager to make a go of life as a Magpie

Matz Sels. Picture by Frank Reid
Matz Sels. Picture by Frank Reid
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Keeper Matz Sels says he still wants to make a success of his Newcastle United career.

The Belgian, signed two years ago, was loaned to Anderlecht last season.

Sels – who played in Tuesday’s 2-0 friendly win over St Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin – returned this pre-season to an uncertain future at St James’s Park.

Boss Rafa Benitez has five goalkeepers – Sels, Martin Dubravka, Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman – at the club.

And Sels – who lost his place early in the Magpies’ Championship-winning season in 2016-17 – know that Benitez only needs three goalkeepers this term.

“It’s nice to be back at Newcastle,” said Sels, who has three years left on his contract. “I had a great year at Anderlecht last season, and I have come back stronger.

“We will see what the new season will bring with me in a stronger position in myself.

“It’s true that I want to be a success here. In the beginning, it’s difficult, because you have to adapt to a new style of play, and also it was my first time abroad.

“I’m stronger now, but we will see what the possibilities will be in the coming weeks.

“Maybe there are clubs who will show interest, and we’ll see, because there are five at training and that is too many.”

Sels added: “I’m a Newcastle player. I’m trying to work hard and improve. But we’ll wait and see what happens, but my mind is on Newcastle right now.”

Asked if he had spoken to Benitez about his future, Sels said: “No, we haven’t spoken about my situation and gametime. I know Martin did well last year, so we’ll see what happens. At this moment, Martin is the clear No 1, but we’ll see.”

Newcastle are back on Tyneside, preparing their next friendly, at Hull City on Tuesday.

“We have had a week-long training camp” said Sels. “But now we must work further to be ready for the first game. It’s good to be back, but now we have to make sure we keep getting better and fitter.”