Yoshinori Muto was given a Newcastle United lifeline in the summer, as the appointment of a new manager in Steve Bruce gave him the chance to reinvent himself.
The centre-forward moved to St James’ Park for £9.5million (Sky Sports) back in 2018 from German club Mainz 05, but his first year in England was underwhelming.
He scored just one goal during his 18 first-team appearances during the 2018/19 campaign under former manager Rafael Benitez.
Muto did impress though before the start of this season with a positive pre-season, which included scoring the winner against West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Magpies boss Bruce gave a positive verdict about the Japan international back in August during the early stages of the season after just one league game.
“You’re only as good as your strikers. With Muto, who I’ve been very, very impressed with and Almiron, and Dwight Gayle, we have got a nice balance up there,” Bruce said, as quoted by the Chronicle (13 August, 2019).
Muto has unfortunately gone in completely the wrong direction with his form since those comments in the summer and been unable to match the enthusiasm from Bruce.
He has only been involved in nine games all season for Newcastle and his only goal came in the Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City in August.
The attacker has found himself slip completely down the pecking order despite their not being major competition within the squad, with form and also some injuries disrupting him.
He’s not shown much in nearly two seasons with Newcastle to suggest he can provide a real answer for them and they could have an issue on their hands when it comes to the next transfer window.