Japan international Yoshinori Motu has been granted a work permit and is now a Newcastle United player, making him manager Rafa Benitez’s most expensive signing of the summer.

The 26-year-old cost the Magpies around £9.5 million and he arrives from FSV Mainz 05, where he scored 23 goals in 72 appearances in all competitions.

The deal was all but completed earlier in the week and Motu, who started Japan’s 1-0 World Cup defeat to Poland, has signed a four-year contract at St. James’ Park.

He needed FA approval to gain a work permit because he did not meet the automatic criteria due to his lack of appearances for his country in recent seasons.

With the paperwork now completed, Newcastle fans have been quick to welcome the striker to the club, where he effectively replaces Aleksandr Mitrovic, who was recently sold to Fulham for around £22 million.

However, as the transfer was being completed, Benitez was being quoted in the media as being worried about the direction the club is going in.

Some fans share his concerns, wondering whether by signing Muto and selling Mitrovic – as well as missing out on Salomon Rondon – the club has taken a backward step.

They want the club’s spending to match Benitez’s – and their – ambition and although pleased with Motu’s arrival, they hope he will not be the last before the transfer window closes next week.

Others argue that signing the Japan international and South Korean Sung-Yong Ki from Swansea City is more about building the club’s image and growing revenues in Asia than it is about achieving success on the pitch.

Motu is the first player from his country to sign for Newcastle and already debate among fans has begun about whether he will start in the club’s Premier League opener against Everton next weekend.

Here are some of those tweets from Magpies fans reacting to Motu’s signing.


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