Rafa Benitez reveals why he signed Yoshinori Muto as Japanese striker completes move

Rafa Benitez has revealed why he signed Yoshinori Muto
Rafa Benitez has revealed why he signed Yoshinori Muto

Newcastle United have completed the signing of Yoshinori Muto - and Rafa Benitez has revealed why he brought the striker to St James's Park.

The Japanese international has signed a four-year deal on Tyneside after an undisclosed fee - believed to be around £9.5million - was agreed for his transfer for Mainz 05.

Completion of the deal was delayed as Muto waited to be granted a Governing Body Endorsement (work permit), but that process was completed today.

Muto, 26, becomes Benitez's fifth summer signing and follows Martin Dubravka, Kenedy, Ki Sung-yeung and Fabian Schar through the entrance door.

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And the Spaniard has revealed that Muto's energy and work rate were behind his decision to make a move for the in-demand striker.

Speaking to nufc.co.uk, Benitez said: “I am really pleased to have Yoshinori Muto with us. We were following him for quite a while.

“Hopefully he can bring us his energy and work-rate and help the team to improve and be better for the new season.”

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Muto becomes the first Japanese player to represent the club and will look to provide an attacking edge which was often lacking from Newcastle's performances last season.

The club's lack of a striker has been all too evident this summer, and the former FC Tokyo striker will be keen to fill that void in the new Premier League season.

And the frontman is relishing the chance to showcase his ability in front of Newcastle's renowned fanbase - while harbouring hopes of writing himself into the club's history books.

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“I am very happy to be a player for Newcastle United," said Muto.

"I am really looking forward to playing in front of the fans.

“As the first Japanese Newcastle United player, I am honoured to be a player for such a big club.

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"I hope to achieve good results – that is what I am here to do.

"I would like to perform well and leave my name in Newcastle’s history.”

The striker will not be eligible to play in Newcastle's pre-season friendly with FC Augsburg on Saturday while he completes the formalities of the visa process.

LIVE: Newcastle United transfer latest - plus the rest of the Premier League look to complete deals
Meanwhile, Newcastle have also been linked with a swoop for Lyon striker Myziane Maolida.

L'Equipe suggest that the Magpies have registered their interest in the 19-year-old, who is valued at around €8million.