Humiliation for Yoshinori Muto but job well done for Florian Lejeune
Just when Yoshinori Muto thought things couldn’t get any worse…
The Newcastle United striker having spent a nightmare season on loan at Eibar.
With 36 league games gone, Yoshinori Muto had only started 12 of them.
Recalled to the Eibar side on Sunday night, the loan striker needed to produce, as only a win would realistically give the La Liga side a chance of staying up.
Playing against a lower mid-table Valencia who had nothing to play for, it looked an ideal chance for Eibar to give themselves hope.
However, after only three minutes they were a goal down, worse was to follow as more Valencia goals followed on 19 and 30 minutes.
The 34th minute and a chance fell the way of the Newcastle United loan striker, only for him to head wide. Seconds later Yoshinori Muto had the humiliation of seeing the Eibar Head Coach instantly react, getting players instantly off the bench and Muto being subbed so early with the cause already looking lost, Rodrigues also taken off in the 36th minute.
Within two minutes one of those subs Bryan Gil gave Eibar faint hope when making it 3-1, only for Valencia to finish them off quickly after half-time with a fourth, the final score 4-1.
This is how the La Liga table looks after Sunday, with one round of games remaining:
Technically, Yoshinori Muto and Eibar could still survive. However, with Barcelona to play in their final match, Eibar would need to pull off a very unlikely win and hope Valladolid don’t win and Huesca and Elche both lose.
With 26 La Liga appearances (13 starts, 13 as a sub) and only one goal, it paints a dismal picture for Yoshinori Muto, as he tries to resurrect his career away from St James Park. He turns 29 in July and has one year left on his contract, with obviously no future at Newcastle United.
In stark contrast, Florian Lejeune couldn’t have asked for better.
He has been on loan at La Liga minnows Alaves for the season and both he and his club have had a very satisfactory season.
Set to turn 30 on Thursday, the French centre-back has more than proved his fitness in starting 33 of the 37 La Liga games and playing the full match in 32 of the 33.
His latest appearance on Sunday night saw Alaves comfortably confirm their safety, making it four wins and only one defeat in their last seven games, Florian Lejuene and his teammates beat Granada 4-2.
The Newcastle loan man getting an assist as well for the second goal, as things stand the big defender has been as productive as Yoshinori Muto when it comes to goals, each of them having one goal and one assist in La Liga this season.
Florian Lejeune has been getting rave reviews from Spanish media this season and would have no shortage of offers if wanting to play again in La Liga next season.
Newcastle United have had a dismal season in defence and currently with two games to go, only Southampton (conceded nine in one game to Man Utd) and West Brom have conceded more goals.
To let somebody like Florian Lejeune leave now would be a massive mistake for Newcastle United in my opinion. NUFC fans know how good he can be when fully fit and must surely come back to St James Park in pre-season and be given a chance to improve this Newcastle defence which has really struggled. Lejeune excellent on the ball as well, a real asset with hopefully an intention for NUFC to play a little (lot!) more football next season, playing out from the back.
Like Yoshinori Muto, Lejeune has one more year left to go on his current contract.
Meanwhile, our old mate Joselu has been making history.
The former Newcastle striker scored yet again on Sunday in the 4-2 win and has now matched his 11 La Liga goals of last season. Joselu the first ever Alaves striker to hit double figures in consecutive seasons in La Liga.
It is also difficult not to compare his goal contribution to Joelinton. The £40m Brazilian with that penalty against Man City has now scored a grand total of six goals in 68 Premier League appearances for NUFC, whilst Joselu has scored 22 in 65 La Liga starts (plus seven sub appearances).
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