Muto gets a late call but unlikely to be a starterMuto has got a late call-up, but he is more than likely to be used as a squad player for Japan. That is because of the current form of Japan's current attacking trio - Takumi Minamino, Shoya Nakajima and Ritsu Doan, therefore Muto will likely find himself in the same situation he has found himself at Newcastle, sat warming the bench. If or when he gets a chance he will have to take it because the trio of attacking players I mentioned have been on fire for Japan.
On the plus side for Newcastle if they get no injuries then the evidence so far suggests he would continue to be a bit part player until he's needed. Muto will be hoping he can do enough to break into Japan's starting team because he really needs some game time.
Game time could help Muto more than people realiseThen if Muto does break into Japan's starting eleven for the Asian Cup, that would mean he is doing well, and if he is doing well and scoring goals for Japan it will do his confidence the world of good for when he returns back to Newcastle. This could help return a newly refreshed player.
Japan is one of the favourites to win the competition, so if he does get loads of playing time he should be looking to score a handful of goals for sure, especially as most of the opposition is much weaker than Japan, so he will be getting plenty of chances.
Japan will face Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Oman in the group stage in the UAE.