Yoshinori Muto has made history this week, becoming the first Japanese player to score in the top divisions of Germany, England and Spain.
This comes after his goal and impressive display – that earned him a place in La Liga’s Team of the Week – helped Eibar to a big 0-2 win over Real Betis on Monday night.
It was the Newcastle United loanee’s first strike for his new club, and Eibar boss José Luis Mendilibar is now backing him to end the season in double figures on 10 – although accepts that a player who works so hard for the team isn’t expected to score 15.
Considering he has two goals in 28 appearances in a black and white shirt and took eight games to get his first in Spain after being restricted to several late cameos, he’ll do VERY well to get the ten his new manager is predicting!
Nevertheless, it’s good to see him on the scoresheet and receiving praise for his performances – although it does seem communication remains an issue for the former Mainz man.
Here’s what he’s had to say about the 28-year-old after their big win over Betis:
“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.”
The second line is quite telling, with it often reported that Muto’s inability to communicate with his teammates or understand coaches was a big issue for Rafa Benitez after he arrived on Tyneside.
After just two starts in Eibar’s last two games and the odd single-minute appearance from the bench, hopefully he can get a run in the side and show Steve Bruce why we paid just shy of £10m to sign him a few years ago!