Cologne – With the 2015/16 Bundesliga season just around the corner, we figured it prime time to take a closer look at some of the German top flight's most talked about summer signings.
Next on the list is the latest Japanese addition to the Bundesliga, 1. FSV Mainz 05's Yoshinori Muto, signed from FC Tokyo.
A record that adds up
"We've got some missiles down our wings now," said Mainz coach Martin Schmidt, referring, among others, to Muto, who showed already at his unveiling that he is quick on the draw, impressing with a few sentences in German. If that is a sign of things to come, Mainz might well have struck it rich with the diligent forward.
Indeed, before moving to Mainz, Muto was completing a degree in economics at one of Japan's most prestigious universities, but there was certainly no economising when it came to scoring goals – 13 of them in his debut season for FC Tokyo, a new league record for a rookie who played predominantly as a centre-forward in the Japanese capital.
Muto's strengths: determined dribbler
The 23-year-old followed that with a further ten goals in the first half of the current Japanese season, earning the award of player of the month for March, as he took his total tally to 23 goals in 51 games. He will soon become the 26th Japanese player to strut his stuff in the Bundesliga, and the indications are very strong that he will also be the 16th player from the Land of the Rising Sun to score in Germany's top flight.
"I want to play, help the team and score goals," said Muto, answering all of Schmidt's prayers after he lost another key Japanese player in Shinji Okazaki to Leicester City FC in the Premier League this summer. "My strengths are my determination and my dribbling, and I want to show this in Germany." If he succeeds in matching the 12 goals Okazaki netted in the Bundesliga last season, it will be the perfect start to life in his compatriot's boots.