Football

Liverpool & Arsenal transfer target: Keisuke Honda

Honda is a 'genius', says Arsene Wenger. (©GettyImages)
Honda is a 'genius', says Arsene Wenger. (©GettyImages).

Over the past two summers, Keisuke Honda is a player to have been frequently linked with a move to the Barclays Premier League.

The Japanese playmaker shot to prominence after his displays at the 2010 World Cup but, somehow, CSKA Moscow have retained his services despite reported interest from numerous clubs.

Now that the January transfer window is open Honda is, once again, being touted as a target for English sides, and he is consistently linked with Arsenal and Liverpool. GMF has decided to run the rule over the midfield star.

Pros

Honda has a knack of getting goals from midfield, via both set-pieces and open play, which would only be an asset for either Liverpool or Arsenal.

During the 2010 World Cup, he showcased his ability from with a dead ball, when he fired in a howitzer of a free-kick in Japan's win over Denmark.

This season for CSKA, the 25-year-old has found the net seven times in 18 appearances, which represents an impressive return.

Goalscoring remains an issue for Liverpool this season, and Kenny Dalglish is reported to be on the lookout for a potent option going forward.

Although Honda is far from a free-scoring striker, he does pose an extreme threat in front of goal, and could work well playing off Andy Carroll in the absence of Luis Suarez.

Arsenal, meanwhile, could also deploy Honda in the 'false No.9' position, while he would be an ideal fit for the style of play adopted by Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners boss has previously labelled Honda a 'genius'.

Cons

Without any experience in any of Europe's major leagues, paying £13 million - his reported valuation - to land Honda could be viewed as somewhat of a risk.

There have also been very few examples of players from Asia making the grade in the English game, although there is always the opportunity for that to change.

As far as Arsenal are concerned, Honda's ineligibility for the Champions League could prove to be a sticking point, should they make a formal approach.

Verdict

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting players operating outside of Europe's biggest leagues, Honda has experience of both international tournaments and the Champions League.

However, there are still doubts over his ability to consistently deliver the goods at the highest level, hence he is still with CSKA Moscow.

A high-profile move in the future surely beckons, but January is likely to come too soon for Honda.

Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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