Why Keisuke Honda is worth every cent for the A-League and Melbourne Victory

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The Japanese star isn't coming cheap, but will be worth every penny this season

Japanese attacker Keisuke Honda has finally been unveiled as a Melbourne Victory player after weeks of speculation. 

Reports claim the deal is worth an estimated $2.9 million with Football Federation Australia chipping in over half of those costs.

And while he might not have the sheer pull Fernando Torres would have had, Honda is an invaluable acquisition for the A-League and Kevin Muscat's side in particular.

Here's four reasons why Honda will be worth the investment.

Honda still firing

Keisuke Honda Japan Senegal World Cup 2018

If a goal at the 2018 World Cup for Japan wasn't enough to prove Honda isn't arriving at Melbourne Victory with a walking stick, perhaps his stats from last season is definitive proof he's still got plenty to offer on the pitch.

Turning out for Mexican club Pachuca, Honda made 29 league appearances scoring ten goals and provided seven assists - the best return on both fronts for any player at the club.

With just 30 shots on target, the 32-year-old showed how sharp he remains in front goal by converting a third of those.

While his seven assists may not sound all that encouraging, Honda created 56 chances overall meaning only poor finishing from his teammates kept his assists figure under double digits.

In Mexico's domestic cup competition, Honda added a further three goals across five appearances with Pachuca falling 1-0 in the final.

Two years younger than Torres and with stats that prove he's still firing, Honda looks more than capable of lighting up the A-League.

A vital step into Asia

Keisuke Honda Japan

The A-League and Australian football in general has long neglected the riches of Asia and Honda is a long-awaited step back into the region.

Not only can Honda kick start greater player investment in the region, he'll also bring with him some undoubted interest in the competition from Asia.

Honda is a hero in Japan and many of his fans back home will now be tempted to tune in to the A-League to see him in action. Goal Japan confirmed that there was a spike of interest in the Liga MX last season simply because Honda was playing there. 

By tapping into Asia, Victory are also making the most of the Asian Champions League's 3+1 rule which allows for three foreign players and a player from Asia to be included in ACL squads.

Both Victory and Sydney FC struggled to field strong teams in the competition last season, with Honda's arrival set to give Muscat's men a key edge in the arena. 

Fills a void at Victory

Keisuke Honda Pachuca

Not only will Honda be a crucial asset in Asia for Muscat, but the Japanese weapon will provide vital ammunition across the board for Victory.

With Leroy George departing on less than civil circumstances and taking his league-high 14 assists with him, Honda's creativity and chance creation will go some way to filling the void left behind.

Honda's ability in front of goal will also prove useful in the absence of Besart Berisha, though the club remain on the look out for a striker with Jamie Maclaren in their sights.

How Muscat looks to get the most out of his Japanese weapon will itself be of interest considering the bland brand of football they played on the way to taking out the A-League championship last season.

If Honda and Troisi can form a lethal attacking midfield duo surely Victory will be ready to play some more enterprising football. 

Will pull a crowd

Keisuke Honda Japan Senegal World Cup 2018 240618

Though he might not have the household appeal of Torres, Honda will get more fans to A-League games this season.

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Whether it's those familiar with his pedigree or the less informed curious to see what all the fuss is about, more tickets will be sold as a result of Honda. 

Shinji Ono's time with Western Sydney Wanderers provides some insight into what Honda can do for fan interest with Ono's classy performances in the red and black quickly convincing fans he was worth the price of admission.

Because even though big-name marquees have been made a priority, at the end of the day what the A-League really needs is quality players capable of pulling in a crowd - two boxes Honda crucially ticks. 

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