Newcastle United linked with Japanese striker

Newcastle has been struggling with scoring goals all season in the Premier League as they are fighting with a host of other teams at the wrong end of the table to secure their Premier League status for another season.  Scoring goals have been the main reason why they’ve been in the bottom half for the majority of the season.

Rafa Benitez has identified goal scoring as a key issue and has made a striker a top priority in the summer transfer window. Over the weekend it was reported in a German newspaper that Newcastle is tracking Mainz’s Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto. Muto was signed by Mainz in 2015 and has scored 19 goals in 59 appearances, he started his career in his home city with FC Tokyo where he scored 23 goals in 51 appearances.

Muto is out of contract in the summer, and it was also reported in the article that he views a move to the Premier League as a ‘dream move’. He currently only has 2 caps for Japan, and it remains to be seen if he will be selected for the World Cup squad. If the deal does materialize he would become the first ever Japanese player to play for Newcastle, but with only 2 caps Benitez may have a problem securing a work permit.

Newcastle currently have Aleksander Mitrovic, Dwight Gayle, Joselu and Islam Slimani as strikers on their books but Mitrovic has been cast off to Fulham on loan, Slimani hasn’t played a game yet since he signed on loan, Gayle has performed better of late but still struggled to find the back of the net regularly, and Joselu has been a flop. With Mitrovic being the one cast off it looks like he would be the one Rafa would like to replace with Muto.   

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