On the heels of Japanese star and free agent Keisuke Honda training with local USL side Orange County SC this week comes more chatter about his future team, and Orange County’s MLS affiliate is now being linked.
Metro’s Kristian Dyer reported on Thursday that Honda has been offered a contract by Los Angeles Football Club, which begin play in 2018. According to an unnamed league source, LAFC has offered Honda a contract to “make him one of the highest-paid players ever in MLS,” but the deal is not yet done. Dyer also reports that if LAFC do sign Honda, he would go on loan in Spain for six months ahead of the 2018 MLS preseason.
With a concrete rumor now circulating about Honda and LAFC, it’s worth wondering if he’s worth being one of the highest paid players ever. On a marketing level, it would seem to be a good move to sign Honda, and he’s shown moments of real flair in his career. But his career stalled out at AC Milan, one of the biggest clubs in the world in recent decades but a team that has fallen off a cliff the last five years in competitive terms. Even with Milan becoming a mediocre team, Honda failed to see regular action.
The counterexample to this is to point out that Sebastian Giovinco’s career had stalled at Juventus before joining Toronto FC and setting MLS alight. Even if we grant Giovinco is a generational player in MLS, perhaps, it’s possible that Honda’s career could also be revived in MLS and all the time sitting on the bench could have kept his legs fresh.
But I suppose it’s worth waiting to see if he signs before really breaking down the pros and cons of a Honda signing. We’ll definitely keep you posted on developments here — stay tuned.
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