Newcastle United

Newcastle United: Fans rate Muto’s efforts in Carabao Cup defeat

Newcastle United: Fans rate Muto’s efforts in Carabao Cup defeat

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…

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