Newcastle grabbed themselves a hard-fought point at Southampton on Saturday, but the performance of Yoshinori Muto left a lot to be desired.
Newcastle’s transfer business this summer was truly bizarre, as they shipped out two players who have proven they can score goals for the club and replaced them with two players who are already proving they can’t.
Salomon Rondon’s move to Tyneside has been plagued by injuries, but excluding his impressive display at Manchester City the Venezuelan hasn’t exactly been impressive when he has been fit.
Muto had to wait for his opportunity, and after a brilliantly taken goal at Old Trafford the 25-cap Japanese international has lost his way.
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He has now started three matches in a row, and the performances both against Brighton and Southampton are a huge concern.
The 26-year-old completed just 61 per cent of his passes at St Mary’s, the third worst rate of the 20 outfield starters.
He also took three unsuccessful touches, which was the most of any Newcastle player, and committed three fouls.
The crafty forward did manage to complete two dribbles but he made no key passes and managed just one shot, which failed to hit the target.
Whether Muto was Rafael Benitez’s first choice in the summer or not, the gamble to play him up front simply did not work.
The summer signing has to be in behind as the number ten if he’s going to play, potentially sending Ayoze Perez to the bench for one of Rondon or Joselu to play up front.
Either way, Benitez has to find a way to get one of his front men firing, and current form suggests it won’t be Muto.
So, Newcastle fans, where are the goals going to come from? Have you been impressed by Muto so far? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…