What we saw in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield was that Steve Bruce has precious few options to try and change games. That was made abundantly clear by the failure of attacker Yoshinori Muto to make any sort of impact off the bench against the Reds.
There’s really no defending the Japan international anymore, because this was about as lacklustre a performance as he’s produced in a black and white shirt. He’s been in England over a year now, but has made absolutely zero progress in adapting to the Premier League.
You have to wonder, then, whether he might be up for grabs in January to raise funds for what you’d assume would be some positive attacking additions.
Muto’s stat-line on Saturday was incredibly dispiriting. Yes, he only entered the fray after 66 minutes; he didn’t start. However, as per WhoScored.com, all he did after coming on was produce two pointless dribbles and get caught offside THREE times. No shots on goal, no key passes and certainly no net-busting strikes.
Although he’s yet to start a league game this time round, it’s evident that the 27-year-old has made no progress from last term. As per WhoScored.com, he is down in almost all major offensive statistical categories this campaign.
With Muto showing no signs of being good enough to solve Newcastle’s goals problem, it would be no surprise to see Bruce give him the boot in a few month’s time.