Steve Bruce has revealed that he’s been “very, very impressed” by what he’s seen from Newcastle forward Yoshinori Muto.
The forward was barely used by Benitez last season, starting just a handful of games and often struggling to gain more than a couple of minutes of game time from the bench, however he’s looked sharper in a few of our pre-season outings this summer.
He scored the winner and was the best player on the pitch in our 1-0 win over West Ham in China, while he’s also looked lively in wins over Hibernian and St Etienne, with his movement and energy causing havoc up front.
As a result, it looks like Steve Bruce has been left highly impressed, with him appearing to see the Japanese international as a very capable attacking options ahead of the big kick off this Sunday:
“Like I’ve always said, since I’ve come into this job – not this Newcastle job, management – 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. Let’s hope they can score the goals that every club in the Premier League needs to do.”
I don’t expect him to start a great deal unless there’s injuries to Joelinton, Almiron or Saint-Maximin, but it feels like he’s far closer to first team action than he was under Rafa – which is ironic given it was the Spaniard who brought him in for £9.5m this time last summer.
Good luck to him. He didn’t really get a fair crack last season and has looked sharp in pre-season, also making a real effort to improve his english by all accounts.