Newcastle's Yoshinori Muto has provided Rafa Benitez with an early Christmas present after agreeing to delay his departure for the Asian Cup until after Christmas.
The Japanese striker has struggled for fitness and game time since his arrival in the summer, making just 11 appearances in all competitions thus far. His fitness problems were initially going to cost him a place in the Japan squad for the Asian Cup, but the JFA decided he was too valuable to leave behind.
In light of this, Muto was set to miss the entirety of Newcastle's hectic festive fixture list, like his teammate Ki Seung Yeung. However, Japan's manager
This will come as a huge boost for Benitez, who was keen for Muto to stay and continue his work with the Newcastle squad.
The Spanish manager said:
"He wants to settle down. Sometimes we don't realise how hard it can be to bring in overseas players.
"They have a training camp but South Korea have the right to call him up 15 days before the tournament."
Having beaten 1-0 in their last fixture, Newcastle next face bottom-of-the-league Fulham as they bid to increase the four point gap between them and the relegation zone.
Source : 90min