Yoshinori Muto has added a new dimension to Newcastle United’s attack, according to Rafa Benitez.
Muto scored on his full Premier League debut against Manchester United on Saturday.
The striker, signed from Mainz in the summer, put Newcastle 2-0 up in the 10th minute after turning in the box.
However, Jose Mourinho’s side came from behind to win 3-2 thanks to goals from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez.
Muto, preferred up front to Joselu, was forced off in the 78th minute with an ankle problem.
Asked about Muto’s performance, Newcastle manager Benitez said: “I think it was important for us to have some mobility and pace in attack, and his understanding with Ayoze (Perez) was quite good.
I think it was important for us to have some mobility and pace in attack, and his understanding with Ayoze (Perez) was quite good.Rafa Benitez
“Unfortunately, Kenedy and him both left the pitch with some problems.
“We still had to defend and counter-attack, and they were pushing and pushing you have to give credit to the Manchester United team because they were very strong and we couldn’t cope with that.”
Kenedy – who had opened the scoring in the fourth minute after cutting in from the right on to his favoured left foot – was clipped by Paul Pogba in the second half.
The winger hobbled off the pitch shortly before Mata sparked the home team’s comeback.
“It’s just little things,” said Benitez. “Muto is his ankle, Kenedy was a knock, and he was limping at the end.”
Meanwhile, the result kept under-pressure Mourinho in a job.
“As a friend of mine was saying to me this morning, if tomorrow rains in London, it’s my fault,” said Mourinho.
“If there’s some difficulty to have the agreement of Brexit, it’s my fault. And I have to be ready for all of this.
“I think a lot of wickedness and a clear man-hunting that I think in football is too much.
“It’s my life, it’s a life I love, it’s a life I worked since I was a kid. I will love it until my last day. It’s one more experience in my life.”