Back in October, Tottenham Hotspur were linked with a canny piece of transfer business.
With his contract at CSKA Moscow running out that December, Keisuke Honda was said to be close to a move to White Hart Lane, with reports in Russia claiming Spurs were ahead of the likes of Liverpool, Monaco and AC Milan for the player’s signature.
Except that was not what happened, with the Serie A side instead bringing the 27-year-old to the San Siro on a three-and-a-half year contract.
Honda has featured nine times for his new club to date, but has failed to hit the heights, providing just a single assist in a 2-1 win over Cagliari and scoring once – in the Coppa Italia against Spezia.
But he enjoyed an effective day when he turned out for Japan against New Zealand on Wednesday, setting up two in their 4-2 victory.
For a while it looked like being an absolute drubbing, with Honda and his teammates racing into a 4-0 lead after just 17 minutes.
It was the Milan man who set up the third and fourth strikes but in the end they were if not holding on, then certainly not enjoying the cake-walk they may have envisaged, with Chris Wood bagging a brace to add some respectability to the score-line.
Spurs may be doing just fine without Honda, but his eye for an assist could have come in useful in North London.
image: © tpower1978