Many Newcastle United supporters have been offering their verdicts on Yoshinori Muto’s efforts against Leicester City, after the Japan international was tasked with leading the Magpies’ attack in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Muto has been a rarely-seen member of the Toon first-team since joining the North East outfit from FSV Mainz 05 for a reported £9.5million (Chronicle) last summer, making just five starts in the Premier League during 2018/19 (WhoScored) and continuing to live life on the bench in the top-flight under Steve Bruce.
Concerns over the fitness of club-record signing Joelinton opened the door for Muto to start his first game of the campaign in the Carabao Cup, though, and he opened his account for the term in the 53rd minute to draw United level after James Maddison broke the deadlock on 34 minutes.
Muto did not enjoy a prosperous first-half at St. James’ Park in the midweek cup affair, however, as he wasted his only chance to break the goal line by dilly-dallying in the box before the interval, and frequently squandered possession to a near-full strength Foxes side. But the 29-cap man offered a willing runner throughout, and stayed alert when presented with his best chance to score.
The statistics recorded by WhoScored from the Leicester clash support the argument that Setagaya, Tokyo-born Muto struggled to make an impact, as well, as he misplaced 29% of his passes, won two of his seven attempted aerial duels, and was caught offside once in the opening 45. He improved his pass accuracy to 80% in the second-half with 15 completed balls to teammates, and completed his only dribble of the game, however.
Despite his numbers from the cup exit on penalties, many Newcastle fans were impressed with the 27-year-old – especially for his energy and movement off the ball – but often could not look beyond his ‘toothless’ presence in attack.
Here’s how these fans judged Muto’s first start of the campaign…
Muto may not be prolific but he’s bags of energy which is a joy to see #nufc
— Dan Holmes (@DanToon4Life) August 28, 2019
Delighted for Muto. The lads been given limited chances and the first time he’s been thrown in at the deep end, on his own, he’s taken it #NUFC
— Jonny Smith (@hawaythen) August 28, 2019
I knew muto had that special something for us!!! Trust the laddddd
— Karena Hidup Itu Life (@ditokayam) August 28, 2019
Muto just needs a chance his work.rate different class causes defenders problems
Think hes 1 that we need to persevere with #NUFC
— jonny ward (@wardy22589) August 28, 2019
Muto scored two goals today world class
— max (@MaximumNufc_) August 28, 2019
Feel like Muto and his movement can create space for Joelinton as well which would give him more chances
— Jack (@Jack__1955) August 28, 2019
Although we haven’t seen the best of him I really do like muto, such a nice and humble person what a man
— Shay (@littlemiggy24) August 28, 2019
If muto was used instead of Joselu last year, we wouldn’t of gone 10 games without a win! 100% play muto,miggy,atsu and joelinton!! Huge pace all over the place!
— Bassyboy (@Bassyboy5) August 29, 2019
Gutted, but some positives last night for #NUFC:
Muto now looks a HANDFUL
Much better from Willems
Defence looked solid again
— Dan Mason (@danmason91) August 29, 2019
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Were you at the game? You are wrong. Muto did very well in an isolated position. There were occasions he beat men he had no right to and his movement off the ball is great. A little bit of support up top and he is an asset. He was one of the better players and bagged a goal..
— Andrew Kelly (@Andrew92kelly) August 29, 2019