One of the slow-burning stories from last season was Chelsea's chase of Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto. The 22-year-old scored 23 goals in J-League 49 appearances, and with the Blues increased presence in Japan he was a tempting target -- indeed, FC Tokyo's president admitted that Chelsea had indeed put in a bid. But ultimately, Muto chose to go to Mainz 05, joining Takashi Inui, Shinji Kagawa, Gotoku Sakai and many other Japanese players who've made the jump to Germany.
He's now revealed the thinking behind that more
The Premier League is a great league, but I'm not ready to play for Chelsea yet. I don't want to hurry myself and want to develop steadily.
Muto says in the interview that he consulted former Mainz 05 player and compatriot Shinji Okazaki -- whojoined Leicester City this season to play in the Premier League -- before deciding on his destination. He also believes that the Bundesliga would be a great stepping stone for him to develop and become a world-class player.
If true, the £4 million bid made initially to FC Tokyo for Yoshinori Muto would make it difficult for him to get an English work permit, even though he already has 11 appearances for Japan since 2014. He'd get virtually no playing time for Chelsea and would likely become another member of the loan brigade, which could have slowed his development. At 22, he doesn't have much time left before he's at his peak, but good luck to him as he seeks to make a mark in Germany.