Yoshinori Muto hasn’t featured lately for Newcastle, but he will be around during January.
With the upcoming Asia Cup, there was a worry that the Magpies could lose their summer signing for up to a month. Just like the Africa Cup of Nations has impacted Newcastle in the past, it appeared that this year it would be the Asia Cup.
However, in a boost to Newcastle, Muto has not made the 23-man squad. While it will be considered a blow by the 26-year-old, his presence will be welcome in the North East during the month of January.
Japan confirmed their squad on Wednesday, with Southampton’s Maya Yoshida the only Premier League player selected.
Muto can now focus on his club career
In truth, the Newcastle forward hasn’t had that fruitful an international career. He has 25 caps for his country, scoring twice.
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While he probably hoped of representing his nation at the competition, Newcastle can rest easy that they won’t lose one of their forward options.
The Magpies’ attacking options are already limited, and would have been severely damaged had Muto been off on international duty for a month.
The former Mainz striker has had an up and down start to life on Tyneside, so far scoring just once. That goal was a brilliantly taken strike, doubling Newcastle’s lead at Old Trafford before their second half collapse.
That game signalled a strong run of form for Muto, which was eventually disrupted by injury.
He is now back to fitness, appearing on the bench against Everton and Wolves. However, he was an unused substitute in both.
Hopefully Muto can get some minutes in the coming weeks, and prove his worth during the busy Christmas period.