The topic of Newcastle’s record transfer has been one of rampant discussion on Tyneside in recent years, with Michael Owen’s £16 million arrival at St James’ in 2005 still standing as the most expensive acquisition in the club’s history.
In an economic climate where prices around the £25 million mark are becoming the norm for Premier League standard players, it’s remarkable to think that Newcastle have not broke their transfer record for 13 years.
However, a recent report from the German media outlet Bild suggests that Mike Ashley could be set to finance a deal worth 20 million euros (£18 million) for a new striker this summer, namely Yoshinori Muto of FSV Mainz – a player whom the Bundesliga outfit purchased for just £2.5 million in July 2015.
The deal is likely to be financed with the funds raised from the sale of Aleksandar Mitrovic, as the Serbia international looks destined to depart for Fulham this summer.
Although Mitrovic hardly featured for Newcastle last season, his departure will inevitably feel like a blow for the supporters who believe he has plenty to offer the club, if only he and Benitez could put their differences to one side.
But the arrival of Muto would undoubtedly soften the blow of Mitrovic’s departure and give the supporters something to look forward to ahead of the new season.
Muto has established himself in the Bundesliga with his poachers instinct, speed and work-rate standing out as key attributes, whilst his lack of physical presence is a notable weakness.
The 26-year-old centre-forward is comfortable playing as a number 9 or in an inside-left position, so Benitez will be given the freedom to tinker with his options if the Magpies are successful in their pursuit.
After contributing a total of 10 goals from 27 appearances, as well as making at least 1 key pass every other game, Newcastle fans can expect to see plenty of flair from the Japan international next season and, providing he works on his improving his strength throughout the season, Muto could be the man to inject spark back into Newcastle’s attack.
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