Yoshinori Muto: it’s a strange one, isn’t it?
According to Chronicle Live, Rafael Benitez has revealed that the £9.5million summer signing must develop a greater understanding with his team-mates in order to feature more regularly.
The Japan international, who was rather impressive at former club Mainz 05, has managed just five starts this season, accumulating just 593 minutes of game time in the process.
So it’d be nice to see that player who mixed intelligence and ability to become a standout player for Mainz in the Bundesliga, despite some of the wider problems the club suffered during the closing stages of his time in the Bundesliga emerge. Prior to his move to St. James’ Park, he’d bagged 19 league goals in 62 games for the German outfit, with former boss Ranko Popovic praising his speed, intelligence and physicality. Indeed, this is a man who reportedly (the Telegraph) rejected Chelsea two years ago, after all.
Perhaps next season can be a big one for him. Seeing the traits listed by Popovic translate into his performances in a black and white shirt would likely stand him in good stead in front of a support who traditionally love their attacking players, not least with rumours linking current favourite Ayoze Perez with a move away from St James’ Park.
Obviously, Muto is set for a full pre-season after missing out on the Japanese squad for the Copa America which could be a boost as he looks to improve on a campaign he admitted was ‘tough’. Considering the uncertain future of the aforementioned Perez and, of course, Salomon Rondon, he might just need it.
Newcastle fans, would you like to see more of Muto? Do you feel like he could replace Perez? Let us know in the comments below…