Chelsea signed a lucrative new kit deal with a Japanese tyre manufacturer in February worth a reported £40million a year, according to the Telegraph, moving them ahead of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool in the shirt sponsorship table.
The deal with the Yokohama rubber company will not only boost the clubs global fan-base and have major commercial benefits, particularly in Asia, but it gives Jose Mourinho the ability to spend big in transfer windows.
Financial fair play has been an issue for the Premier League leaders, as in order to sign a high-profile player Mourinho has been forced to balance the books with big money sales, something which he and his team have achieved with David Luiz, Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata and Kevin De Bruyne.
Chelsea have followed up this major shirt deal with reported interest in the new Japanese ‘wonder boy’ Yoshinori Muto, per the BBC, who was included in last season’s J-League best XI at the age of just 21.
Although their interest in the Japanese striker may be partly down to the new kit deal, which will give Asian fans the opportunity to buy replica shirts with Muto’s name on the back, the 22-year-old FC Tokyo striker has potential.
Muto has already scored three goals in four games in the new J-League season to back up his 13 last time out.
He is a quick and lively striker who can play on the wing, too. Muto runs the channels extremely well and boasts the acceleration to beat a man in a one-on-one with ease.
Muto is a good finisher with both feet and has a decent leap, meaning he could be a force in the air. Although he will not get ahead of Diego Costa in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge yet, he will provide good cover, particularly with Didier Drogba likely to be on his way out of the club.
The FC Tokyo forward is yet to decide on his long term future, as it is obviously a huge decision to move to England, but there is a chance that he could follow in the footsteps of Junichi Inamoto and Shinji Kagawa, who have played for Arsenal and Manchester United respectively in the Premier League in the past.