Rafa Benitez signing, Yoshinori Muto, wants to leave Newcastle in January, according to a report in the Telegraph, with the Japanese player frustrated at a lack of opportunities.
Muto has been anything but a success since arriving from Bundesliga outfit Mainz, and has not been able to nail down a lengthy run in the side.
But in all honesty, from the cameo appearances and one-off chances he has had, he has never looked like he deserved a starting spot.
He has scored just one league goal since his arrival, which came at Old Trafford when Newcastle blew a two-goal lead last season. The only other time he has scored was in this season’s EFL cup.
Despite only having limited opportunities, it is hardly the form of a player able to set the Premier League alight with goals.
On the flip-side, when we say limited opportunities, they really have been very few and far between. Muto has only made six Premier League starts, and come off the bench on another 16 occasions.
But he has not made an impact in any of those substitute appearances, and as likeable though he seems, he is simply not cut out for the Premier League.
It is only natural that the player wants out, and while it is a shame it has not worked out for him, selling him is the only logical answer.
Newcastle may have to accept a loss on Muto’s fee
The problem for Newcastle though, is due to his lack of playing time, they are likely to take a hit on his potential fee, with any bids almost certainly going to be lower than the reported £9.5 million they shelled out for him.
He must definitely go down as one of the least successful signings of the Rafa Benitez era, and a move abroad will give Muto the best chance to resurrect his disintegrating career.
With West Brom thought to be very interested in signing Dwight Gayle too, it could yet force Steve Bruce to bring in another striker to share the workload, something we have been urging for a while now.
With only Muto’s Carabao Cup goal and Joelinton’s winner at Tottenham, to have come from a Newcastle forward at this stage of the season, it seems clear that attacking reinforcements are needed.
Freeing up squad space and funds, by selling either, or both, of Muto and Gayle should see a quality striker sought in the January sales.