Melbourne Victory skipper Carl Valeri says new recruit Keisuke Honda is someone he has always dreamed of playing alongside and declared the Japanese legend will thrill Hyundai A-League fans with his flair.
Honda had his first training session with his new Victory teammates on Friday in an open training session at the club’s base at Gosch’s Paddock.
WHEN AND WHERE: How and when to watch Honda play this season
The 32-year-old was restricted to light duties after only arriving in Melbourne on Wednesday.
But Valeri is already excited by what he sees and believes the 98-game veteran for the Samurai Blue will be a huge asset to the club and the competition as a whole.
“He’ll bring that offensive flair which, is not missing in the A-League, but is quite rare,” said Valeri of Honda.
“Form a personal perspective, I look forward to how he’ll be off the pitch, how he conducts himself so I can learn and so the young players can watch how he goes about it.
“You don’t play 98 games for your national team by mistake. He’s done it, he’s the real deal and I’m sure he’ll produce.”
Honda could make his competitive debut for the club as early as next Tuesday night, with Victory to travel to Sydney to play APIA Leichhardt in the FFA Cup 2018 Round of 16.
Victory boss Kevin Muscat will monitor his star recruit over the weekend before making a final decision on whether he’ll include him in the squad on Monday.
“Keisuke looks good. He trained by himself to get into the swing of things, you can see by the way he’s acting around the change room how professional he is and how much of an influence he’ll be not only on the young players but also myself,” Valeri said.
“I’m extremely happy that he’s here. Victory has been waiting for this opportunity to get a player like Keisuke in. I’m really happy to be a part of this team that involves him.
“It’s a fantastic achievement by the club, by the league and it will be fantastic for all the fans involved.”