It isn’t too unkind to say Yoshinori Muto’s transfer to Newcastle United hasn’t worked out well for anyone involved.
Moving to the Magpies in July 2018 from Mainz, the Premier League club paid around €10m for the signing.
During his first season, the forward made 18 appearances, mainly as a substitute, and scored one goal. the next campaign wasn’t any better, with injuries and managerial choices seeing Muto make just 10 appearances, again with a solitary goal to show for it.
Clearly not in Steve Bruce’s plans for the current season, the 28-year-old was allowed to move to Spain and sign for Eibar on loan. He’s gradually been getting more minutes, and scored his first goal on Monday, in a 2-0 victory over Real Betis.
AS have a headline saying Muto ‘makes history’, with his goal making him the first Japanese footballer to score in the top divisions of Germany, England and Spain.
Eibar are pleased with their recruit, and after the Betis match their manager José Luis Mendilibar was quoted as saying: “It is good news that he scores with us. He doesn’t understand almost anything I am saying to him, he has to have his translators.
“But today he has made us all see that he is understanding what we are asking of him, that apart from the goal he has done a sensational job and ended the game bursting. That is what we ask of him. I don’t know if so far he was used to doing that work, but here we are not going to ask the striker to score fifteen goals, we are going to ask him to work a lot and he will have his options. In the end he will score eight or ten goals, but in the end the work is what will help us stay in this division.”
Muto being a success in Spain will surely be a positive for Newcastle United, helping them get a transfer fee for the player next summer, when he’ll have a year left on his contract.