Watford boss Mazzarri wants Keisuke Honda

Watford boss Mazzarri wants Keisuke Honda

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri has reportedly asked owner Gino Pozzo to sign AC Milan and Japan attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda.

Adam Whiteside

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri has reportedly asked owner Gino Pozzo to sign AC Milan’s Keisuke Honda.

However, owner Pozzo is undecided on Honda but his knowledge and connections with Italian football make the signing a real possibility.

The Hornets are looking to strengthen their squad in January following a poor run of form which saw seen them slide down to 14th in the Premier League after starting the campaign strongly.

Who is Keisuke Honda?

Honda is an attacking midfielder who signed for AC Milan from CSKA Moscow in January 2014 on a free transfer.

The Japanese forward made an impact in Russian football and won the Russian Premier League with CSKA in 2013 as well as two Russian Cups and a Russian Super Cup.

His move to Italy hasn’t proved the most successful, failing to become a regular in Milan’s starting 11. However, Honda was a substitute in Milan’s recent Supercoppa Italiana triumph.

Honda has only found the net 10 times in his 87 appearances for Milan and has only appeared five times in the 2016-17 season. The 30-year-old is an international veteran, however, having earned 82 caps for Japan and scoring 36 times.

Watford’s struggles

At the end of October, Watford sat proudly in the Europa League places but a run of only two wins in their last 10 outings means they now sit seven points above the relegation zone.

Watford have found the net just twice in their last five Premier League games with their most recent goal being a 91st minute Younes Kaboul consolation in a 4-1 drubbing against Tottenham.

The Hornets have struggled in defence this season but their poor run in front of goal is the reason they have slid down the table at such an alarming rate. Watford scored in nine of their opening 11 games of the 2016-17 season.

The Hornets options

Honda would certainly add another element to the Hornets attack but Mazzarri already has numerous options at his disposal.

Roberto Pereyra has been Watford’s standout player this season since his €13m move from Juventus in the summer. Pereyra has been instrumental to everything Watford produce going forward and it is difficult to see the possible acquisition of Honda ousting his from the side.

Algerian Adlene Guedioura is also an option but he hasn’t featured much since Mazzarri’s arrival at Vicarage Road. Midfielder Etienne Capoue is Watford’s top goalscorer this season but the potential signing of Honda won’t affect Capoue’s predominantly defensive role.

Up front Captain Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo haven’t produced the goals or performances they managed throughout the 2015-16 campaign with just five goals between them.

In front of goal Honda hasn’t been prolific in recent seasons but if he can find the form that he displayed at CSKA and for his country with the Hornets he could well propel them back up the Premier League table.