Newcastle United's Matz Sels
Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels has told Het Nieuwsblad in his native Belgium that he wanted to watch Gent's trip to Tottenham at Wembley later this month, but training has scuppered his plans.
Tottenham's disastrous Champions League campaign means that they have now dropped into the Europa League, with a two-legged tie with Gent on the horizon.
Spurs travel to Belgium for the first leg on Thursday evening, before Gent make the trip to London for the return leg at Wembley Stadium later this month.
With Tottenham's European games being played at Wembley rather than White Hart Lane, the game a week on Thursday gives Gent players a chance to play at the national stadium – and it seems that one former Gent player was also eyeing a trip.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels spent two-and-a-half years with Gent following a January 2014 move from Lierse, making more than 100 appearances for the Belgian side before joining Newcastle last summer.
Sels has so far made 14 appearances for Newcastle, but hasn't played a league game since losing his spot to Karl Darlow towards the end of September.
Sels has now commented on his former club, telling Het Niewusblad that Tottenham shouldn't underestimate Gent, believing that Spurs' Belgian players – Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Moussa Dembele – will be warning their team-mates.
The goalkeeper added that he was hoping to go to Wembley for the return leg next week, but he has to be at training on Friday morning, meaning he will watch both games from his TV.
“I have satellite TV and I can simply follow the game can simply follow from my chair,” said Sels. “I have considered whether I could go to Wembley, but I have to train the next day. Whether Gent get a good result or not, I will not be held accountable here. The English are primarily concerned with their own clubs, they are not too aware of Gent. Gent is here regularly confused with Genk. The Europa League is less monitored than the Champions League.”
“It remains to be seen whether Tottenham will play their strongest team. But I think the Belgians at Tottenham will warn their teammates not to underestimate Gent. They know who Gent is and know what the team is capable of,” he added.
Do you think Gent can beat Spurs?