Everton Transfer Rumours: Scouting Rumoured Target Keisuke Honda
The Japanese attacking midfielder may be available for a small fee, as his contract with CSKA Moscow is finished at the end of this year.
Honda recently participated in Confederations Cup duty with his nation, and while Japan may have gone through the tournament without a win, he did little to harm his chances of a move like this.
With his time in Russia, and before in the Netherlands, folks in England may not have seen much of Honda except for the 2010 World Cup and this year's Confederations Cup.
Here's what he would bring to Everton should he join.
Honda is a solid all-round attack-minded midfielder who is versatile enough to play in a number of positions for Roberto Martinez. He can play as a No. 10, as a 'False 9,' and as a deep-lying playmaker in central midfield. He can also play wide on the left if necessary.
He would be equally comfortable dictating play from deep alongside a defensive-minded partner, or making the incisive pass, or finish, in the final third.
He is an excellent technician, has good vision, intelligent movement and can score goals.
His technical ability is constantly on display from open play—with his great long-range passing—and from set pieces.
He may not be as fleet of foot as his compatriot, Shinji Kagawa, but his close control enables him to squeeze his way out of tight spaces when on the ball.
In terms of movement, Honda is always readily available to accept passes from his teammates. He's also shown an ability to show up in the right place at the right time to score goals from midfield.
Physically, he should be able to handle the demands of the Premier League.
He has a solid build and decent enough pace to trouble opponents. His work rate is also quite good, though he is not exactly sound defensively. Not that such a trait is necessary for a player of his attacking talents.
One other thing to note about Honda is his extreme preference for his left foot, though he uses it quite well.
Honda could potentially join Everton as a replacement for Marouane Fellaini, though Everton staff and fans will be hoping that's not the case.
The Liverpool-based club will be gaining a player who should be heading into his prime years and will provide major creativity to this Everton squad.
Honda's arrival could tempt Fellaini to stay and enhance Everton's prospects. Martinez could put his side out in a 4-2-3-1 formation while playing Fellaini in the double pivot and Honda behind the forward.
While that formation may not be used—considering the Spanish manager's tactical variety during the last few seasons—Honda would still be a good bet to succeed in a variety of positions.
Considering the reasonable price and the quality he would bring, Honda should be a definite target for Everton.
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