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Opinion

Yoshinori Muto better bet for goals than Joelinton – Do the stats lie?

3 weeks ago
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Fair to say Yoshinori Muto won’t be top of the list for many / any Newcastle fans picking their team to take on Tottenham tonight.

The Japanese striker arriving in summer 2018 as Rafa Benitez was once again starved of realistic funds for player recruitment.

Especially difficult in the forward (goalscoring) department to provide Premier League goals on a (too) tight budget.

In summer 2018, Mike Ashley allowed Rafa Benitez only £5m and we got Joselu.

In summer 2019, Mike Ashley allowed Rafa somewhere under £10m and that saw Yoshinori Muto arrive from Bundesliga club Mainz. Salomon Rondon was only allowed to come on loan and that was dependent on Dwight Gayle going in the other direction to West Brom.

Recent weeks I think have shown that Gayle is the only player at the club who is in any way a natural finisher. In three starts and two sub appearances since restart, he has claimed three goals.

Prolific in this NUFC squad!

What about the rest though, which other Newcastle strikers are capable of getting goals? (I’m leaving aside ASM and Almiron as I don’t really see them as out and out strikers)

Well Andy Carroll hasn’t scored in the Premier League for over 27 months and is injured yet again, as usual.

So what about Joelinton?

Well, his Premier League record with Newcastle so far is:

2,617 minutes on the pitch, 32 starts and 3 sub appearances, 2 goals at an average of 1,308 minutes per goal

As for Yoshinori Muto, his Premier League record with Newcastle so far is:

723 minutes on the pitch, 7 starts and 18 sub appearances, 1 goal at an average of 723 minutes per goal

The Japanese striker more prolific than Joelinton but comparing so few goals doesn’t tell us very much.

However, I think it is worth looking at their relative records in the Bundeliga, Yoshinori Muto not played as an out and out centre-forward, as was the case most of the time for Joelinton as well.

Bundesliga record for Joelinton with Hoffenheim was:

2,136 minutes on the pitch, 25 starts and 3 sub appearances, 7 goals at an average of 305 minutes per goal

Bundesliga record for Yoshinori Muto with Mainz was:

4,422 minutes on the pitch, 48 starts and 18 sub appearances, 20 goals at an average of 221 minutes per goal

Yoshinori Muto has only started the home and away PL games against Leicester this season and his six minutes against Man City last week was the first sub appearance since December 2019.

However, looking at the Bundeliga stats above, just maybe Yoshinori Muto is worth a chance in these final games.

Not prolific but certainly more chance of goals with him than Joelinton.

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