Yoshinori Muto remains coy on a move to Chelsea, as the Japanese forward has said that he wants to think long and hard before sealing a move to Stamford Bridge. The 22-year-old forward is weighing his options and at such a developmental stage in his career, doesn’t want to make a move to a club where he hardly gets to play.
“I want to think about it carefully. Where can I go to develop? A team that suits me, where I can play and develop. I just want to take my time and think it through.” (Source: espnfc.com)
The youngster is already an established Japanese international, having made 11 appearances for the Samurai Blues, scoring one goal in the process. This season, he has been in exceptional form for his club side FC Tokyo, with 5 goals in 6 appearances.
His move to Chelsea though may be pushed through on commercial grounds. In February, the club announced a bumper five-year shirt sponsorship deal with Japanese giant Yokohama Rubber. Manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that this deal may have a say in Muto coming to Chelsea. Yokohama Rubber will not shy away from the opportunity of promoting Japanese football by having one of their internationals sign for the would-be English champions. The Portuguese said:
“There is something that in modern management, you can’t completely close the door to a little bit of commercial interest.”
Do We Really Need Him?
Despite all the talk of his potential move to the Bridge, the fundamental question that needs to be answered is whether or not we need Muto. With Diego Costa and Loic Remy set to be the first and second choice respectively, coming in as the third striker with no guarantee of game time is something the Japanese will not consider a great career move. Not to mention the long list of strikers like Patrick Bamford, Dominic Solanke and Izzy Brown all waiting to come into the side and make an impact. Muto may get to go on loan to another European club, which will also be a step up from FC Tokyo, but there is no assurance that he will get the opportunity to make an impact at Stamford Bridge. If commercial interests force the move, then there isn’t much that can be done by the management. But if it is purely down to football, then this move is hardly ideal for either party at the moment.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni