COMMENT: Jose Mourinho sets his sights on Yoshinori Muto – SW Londoner examines potential Chelsea recruit

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been heavily linked with a move to sign little-known Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto for an estimated £4million.

Muto is a name that will not be familiar to most but the 22-year-old is seen as a big prospect in his homeland.

The youngster completed a degree in economics at Keio University just two weeks ago, juggling his studies with football commitments.

Impressively he netted 13 times last season for his club FC Tokyo, all while studying, and was included in the J League’s best 11.

This strong form led to an international call up and Muto has now played 11 times for his country, scoring once.

He has mostly been limited to substitute appearances but has taken his chances when they have come.

His solitary goal for Japan happened during his second appearance as he came off the bench to open the scoring against Venezuela in a friendly played at Yokohama’s Nissan Stadium.

Coming to Stamford Bridge will be a big step up for Muto and he may find game time difficult with the attacking talent Jose Mourinho already has at his disposal.

Diego Costa is arguably the best striker in the league and joint top scorer with Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

Injury-plagued Costa has managed to net 19 goals for the side this season, a figure that would surely have been higher if it weren’t his health woes.

With Mourinho’s preference for one striker upfront it may be difficult for Muto to unseat a fit Costa.

If Didier Drogba stays at Chelsea beyond the end of his contract at the end of the season then he will be another name in the list ahead of Muto, and Loic Remy will also be looking to play.

You only need to look at Romelu Lukaku’s time at Chelsea to see how playing time for strikers can be limited.

Lukaku was on form but still couldn’t convince Mourinho to give him a starting place, leading to a transfer to Everton.

Similarly Patrick Bamford is continually shipped out on loan, impressing wherever he goes but his future at Chelsea remains uncertain.

The 21-year-old striker is playing brilliantly at Middlesbrough this season, scoring 19 times but the role he will play next season remains unclear.

If Bamford stays on Chelsea’s books he would likely be ahead of Muto, meaning Muto could be a fifth choice striker.

A player of his age needs to be playing and a spell in the reserves could be detrimental to his development – so he faces some big choices in the coming weeks.

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