Yoshinori Muto has not featured for Newcastle in their last seven Premier League matches, and some supporters are already claiming his signing has been pointless.
The striker is now also set to miss the next month on international duty due to participation in the AFC Asian Cup with Japan.
At £9.5m, Muto was Newcastle’s most expensive signing this summer and was expected to provide competition for Ayoze Perez.
But the Japanese striker has now missed almost half of the season through injury or unused substitute appearances.
In the nine matches he has played, five have come as late substitute.
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But Muto has recently seen his substitute appearances dry up.
He is arguably Newcastle’s best option from the bench other than Jonjo Shelvey and some fans are becoming frustrated.
Why has Rafa Benitez spent his limited transfer funds on a player he wont even give a chance?
Rafa Benitez is now in his third full season for Newcastle and his lack of transfer budget in that time has been well documented.
However when the Spaniard does manage to raise funds, he doesn’t always spend wisely.
Of those seven, only Matt Ritchie and Florian Lejeune would be considered certain starters.
Meanwhile £10m Jacob Murphy can’t get a game, and Mikel Merino and Dwight Gayle are at other clubs.
Muto is in danger of becoming just another inflated purchase who cant make the grade.
But the difference is, he hasn’t exactly been given the opportunity.
With just four starts this season, fans are still unsure of what he can deliver for the team.
Some supporters were left particularly upset after Benitez neglected to bring the striker on against Fulham.
Muto is arguably one of Benitez’s best options off the bench, but he’s fell victim to Benitez’s like for like substitutions.
The manager likes to stick to his game plan during matches, meaning Muto would only ever replace Ayoze Perez during the 90 minutes.
However against The Cottagers a change of tactics was needed, and Muto should have been given another chance.