The Rangers fans in the Transfer Tavern have been keeping a close eye on developments at the World Cup in a bid to identify players their club could sign this summer.
The World Cup is a notoriously difficult place to judge players who have otherwise fallen under the radar whilst playing for their club teams. Even Colombia’s poster-boy James Rodriguez, who finished the 2014 showpiece as the tournament’s top-goalscorer, has struggled to shine for both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the 4 years which have followed his dramatic arrival on the international stage.
However, in the case of Japanese veteran Keisuke Honda (valued at £3.6 million by Transfermarkt), no such doubts can be had over his technical ability. At 32-years-old the former AC Milan playmaker recently became a free agent after completing a season with CF Pachua in Mexico in which he enjoyed decent success with 12 goals and 7 assists from 33 appearances in all-competitions.
Despite his age, Honda proved that his technical quality remains firmly in tact at the World Cup with a goal and an assist from 2 appearances in the group stage and, after coming on as a substitute during Japan’s gut-wrenching defeat against Belgium, he nearly sent his nation into the quarter-final with a stunning free-kick which had Thibaut Courtois scrambling across his goal to parry the ball wide.
Sure, Honda’s resulting corner ultimately lead to Belgium’s breakaway winner, but the problem for Japan lay within their decision to over commit in a bid to win the game at the death.
Although his involvement in the international tournament arrived purely as an impact substitute, Honda’s contribution illuminated his huge level of guile and intelligence in the final third – two qualities which would hold Rangers in good stead to break the mould in Scottish football next season as they bid to catch Celtic at the top of the SPFL.
Considering he is available on a free transfer, Rangers have nothing to lose by offering him the possibility of a chance to impress in Scotland before he winds down his career elsewhere.
Rangers fans – thoughts? Let us know below!