Matz Sels joins Anderlecht on a season long loan

Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels has joined Anderlecht on a season-long loan. 

The Magpies confirmed this morning that the Belgian shot-stopper is returning to his native Belgium after just one year away. 

Sels joined Newcastle last year but found life tough on Tyneside - making just nine Championship appearances. His limited first-team outings meant he and United were keen on a move with Rafael Benitez seemingly happy to sanction a move that was preferred by Sels.

The 25-year-old could still have a long-term future on Tyneside as there is reportedly a no view to a permanent option in Sels' loan contract. 

But for now, Sels will team up with the Belgian First Division A champions and become the highest paid player in Belgium

Tough on Tyneside 

Sels was the first of Benitez' 12 summer signings last summer and the Spaniard made the former Gent man his number one, but it didn't go to plan. 

Despite the Belgian starting the Magpies' opening nine Championship fixtures and in the process kept four clean sheets, he still didn't look convincing. 

Sels looked poor at commanding his area with crosses often being left undealt with - leaving Newcastle fans often on edge. 

The goalkeeper's final league game for Newcastle came in late September when his error allowed Aaron Tshibola to head home a late equaliser for Aston Villa in September. 

Since that defining error in the 1-1 draw at Villa Park, the Belgian would only feature in three FA Cup outings and two EFL Cup ties. 

Belgium best for Sels 

Sels returns to his home country with the Belgium champions looking to replicate the form he showed that first attracted the interest of Newcastle. 

After a successful time at Koninklijke Lierse Sportkring, Sels joined Gent in 2014 and instantly made history with the club. The Belgian helped De Buffalo's clinch their first ever Belgian First Division A title his debut season before being named the league's Goalkeeper of The Year in 2015. 

Sels in action for Gent (Photo: GettyImages/ VI-Images)
Sels in action for Gent (Photo: GettyImages/ VI-Images)

The club's success meant Gent would participate in the 2015-16 Champions League and Sels made further history by leading the club into the last 16 of Europe's elite competition. 

The 25-year-old standout performances attracted the interest from the Premier League in 2016 but Benitez beat off competition to land the Belgian's signature. 

Still a future in England?

Unfortunately, Sels' confidence has taken a heavy hit throughout his time in the North East. Sels will view a spell back in his native country as the perfect opportunity to get back to his best and show his quality. 

If United fail in their bid to land a goalkeeper in this summer's transfer window, Benitez may look to Tim Krul as his number one for the upcoming season. However, if Krul for whatever reason doesn't work out, the 57-year-old may well turn back to Sels if he has had a positive season in Belgium

If Sels can get back to his best, he might have a long-term future at St James' Park - which could be the reason why there is no permanent option when his loan expires.