Rafa Benitez convinced Matz Sels to turn down offers from the Premier League and join Newcastle, reports The Shields Gazette.
Southampton and Middlesbrough were both talking to the Belgian stopper but meeting with the Spaniard made up his mind:
“It’s strange that they were relegated, but that’s football.
“There was also a few teams from the Premier League that was interested, but Newcastle is a really big club.
“I heard about the interest from Newcastle, had a talk with Rafa Benitez and was convinced of my choice.
“It’s a team that doesn’t belong in the second division. Normally, it’s always a Premier League team – a top club in the Premier League. I was convinced of my choice.”
Sels is expected to make his debut at Craven Cottage on Friday night and has for the moment, established himself at the top of the pecking order. Having a number of goalkeepers at the club keeps the pressure on the holder of No.1 spot in the side; performances are key.
This week is vital for the club, a point not lost on Sels. A winning start is vital particularly with a tough start to the season. Winning away from St James Park will underpin the promotion push and assert our dominance on the Championship.
As the division’s biggest club, we’re there to be shot at and every opponent will take pleasure in pulling us down a peg or two if they get the chance.