Newcastle United striker Yoshinori Muto has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to play for Premier League heavyweights Chelsea in the past.
The 26-year-old arrived at the Magpies from Mainz during the summer transfer window and is expected to be handed regular first-team opportunities by Rafa Benitez this season.
The Japan international is expected to make his full Premier League debut on Sunday when the Magpies face off against Chelsea.
Most players would not turn down the opportunity to play for a big club such as Chelsea.
However, it does happen that many youth products who Chelsea buy or have within their setup do not eventually progress to their first-team and many who do become flops with the exception of club legend John Terry and Andres Christensen.
Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are two of the most highly rated young prospects in English football and even they are not certain if their futures lie with the Blues.
After starring for England during the World Cup and for Crystal Palace last season on loan, Loftus-Cheek would easily slot in to the starting xi of most Premier League teams’ including top six clubs. However, so far that has proven to not be the case with Loftus-Cheek.
The lack of successful youth products of the Chelsea academy is also what probably influenced the highly-rated Dominic Solanke’s decision to swap Stamford Bridge for Liverpool last summer.
Muto probably made the right decision to not choose to move to Chelsea. It is unlikely that he would have reached the first-team and probably would have endured frustration. Instead, he opted to play for FC Tokyo in his native Japan as well as for Mainz where he proved himself to be a capable player at the highest level.
As reported by The Telegraph, Muto said: “I was 22 when I got the offer from Chelsea.
“At the time, I didn’t feel the manager of the club really wanted or needed me.
“I think they wanted to sign the young potential of players and then loan them out to help them progress. Instead of doing that, I wanted to stay at a club to help me progress.
“I wanted to feel like I could make my own progress step by step, therefore I didn’t take the opportunity.”