AC Milan are reportedly eyeing a move for Japan maestro Keisuke Honda who could be available for a small fee from CSKA Moscow this summer.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder would be a quality addition for Milan and with his contract expiring at the end of 2013; he’s one of the biggest bargains going on the continent this summer.
Lazio and even Barcelona are reportedly interested in him and I’m not remotely surprised such is his immense quality. What is a surprise to me is that more of the Premier League’s top six aren’t busting a gut to get their hands on him.
Liverpool and, even more so, Tottenham, are looking for quality targets to add to their midfields this summer. Honda is exceptional technically skilled, he’s got an incredible shot on him and is very very dangerous in dead-ball situations.
His finishing is impressive, his passing and movement is top notch and he’s easily one of the most underrated players in Europe. His performances for Japan in recent World Cups and European Championships have been outstanding and even in this summer’s Confederations Cup he showed he’s still got the gift.
He’s valued at £15 million plus yet anyone who wants him can have him for a fraction of that, or on a free in January – I’m so surprised Tottenham especially are not trying to bring him to White Hart Lane. Honda’s exactly the kind of player Andre Villas-Boas could use to help Spurs gain access to the Champions League next season.
Tottenham have been after Brazilian starlet Bernard, who by all accounts is a great prospect but hasn't achieved half of what Honda has in the world game, nor is he approaching his peak years like the Japan ace. Bernard will also cost in excess of £15 million, as his club Atletico Mineiro have made perfectly clear.
So Honda really should be a viable alternative, his versatility alone makes him a decent signing for any squad – he can play as a deep-lying playmaker, an advanced attacking midfielder or even as a second striker.
He’s the kind of player who could link up to great effect with the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon on the flanks and Sandro and Lewis Holtby or Moussa Dembele or Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle of the park. In my humble opinion Honda would represent an improvement on the latter.
His goal and assist record are that of a top quality footballer and he’s been playing at the highest level in the Champions League for three years now. At 27, he’s still got plenty of gas left in the tank; he’s got a great work ethic and bundles of experience.
For very little cost other than his wages around €1.3 million a season at present) Villas-Boas could have a quality international footballer at the peak of his powers who can dribble, pass, score and create and has bags of experience in the Champions League. In my estimation, he’s really not that far off the quality of Luka Modric. Tottenham should definitely be trying to sign him.
image: © yoppy