Osako and Muto ready to push Kobe to new heights

Forwards Yuya Osako and Yoshinori Muto on Sunday promised to deliver for Vissel Kobe as the pair returned from European clubs in the J-League first division.

Japan international Osako has left Werder Bremen relegated to the German Bundesliga, while Muto is looking to restart his career after three disappointing seasons with English Premier League club Newcastle United.

Yoshinori Muto (3rd from L) holds a Vissel Kobe jersey with club president Hiroshi Mikitani while Bojan Krkic (L) and Yuya Osako (R) are pictured on screens participating online at a press conference in Tokyo on August 22, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Vissel Kobe) (Kyodo)

“I had a lot of options, but as a forward my desire was pure, to keep scoring goals that contribute to the team’s victories,” said Osako, a 31-year-old who scored 23. goals in 49 games for Japan, to an online press. conference.

“Because it’s Kobe, winning titles is a possibility, and I want to achieve something by giving everything I have.”

The pair are joined by former Barcelona prodigy Bojan Krkic in attack, and the 30-year-old will reunite with Andres Iniesta, as Vissel seeks to fill the void left by Kyogo Furuhashi. The new Celtic sensation scored 15 goals before his departure and remains the top scorer in the J1.

Muto has already shown what he is capable of. He came on at half-time and prepared for the winner on Saturday against Kashima Antlers, using the outside of his right foot to send a perfectly weighted ball to Hotaru Yamaguchi.

“I am delighted to be back in Japan after six years abroad and this is my first step towards further development,” said the 29-year-old. “I’m going to try to produce good numbers in terms of goals and assists, and become a goal scoring machine.”

Osako left Kashima Antlers in January 2014 for Munich 1860, then in the German second division, before playing for Cologne and Bremen.

Muto last played in the J-League for FC Tokyo in 2015 before moving to Mainz, where he played with Bojan in 2017. Muto spent the second half of last season on loan at the Spanish side. Eibar.

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