In a huge blow to Newcastle, Yoshinori Muto has now been called up for the Asia Cup.

The forward initially wasn’t selected in Japan’s squad, but things appear to have changed. Muto will join up with his international teammates after Newcastle’s game against Manchester United on January 2nd. He could miss four Premier League games and the FA Cup clash with Blackburn.

His exclusion from the squad looked like a huge boost for Newcastle, with the side set to be without Ki Sung-yueng too. But now that Muto has been called up, that means Rafa Benitez will be without two of his summer signings for a very tricky January.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Muto has not been a key player for Newcastle, but has shown flashes of his talent in a Magpies shirt. With limited options going forward, he would’ve played a key role in the comings weeks.

Muto blow means Newcastle must act fast

With the January transfer window set to open, Benitez will be praying the hierarchy can act fast. The Magpies are already light in attack, and Muto’s imminent departure means Newcastle must get a replacement in quick.

Ahead of the transfer window, it was likely that Newcastle would add to their attacking ranks. However, Muto’s temporary departure means that recruits need to arrive quickly.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Last January, Newcastle dithered and nearly paid the price. It wasn’t until near the end of the window that Benitez actually got the signings he needed. We can’t afford for that to happen this year.

One player that Newcastle have been linked with is Miguel Almiron, and he would be the perfect player to plug the gap in our attack. He is the kind of player that we need to get in quickly, otherwise we could slide back down the Premier League table.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

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