Honda says he’s received offers that ‘were inadequate’ and that he’s not the only player who couldn’t succeed at Milan.
Coach Vincenzo Montella has already made it very clear that his starting right winger is Suso and this leaves Keisuke Honda on the bench and the Japanese has only played about 80 minutes in Serie A.
On Friday, Honda and Japan played a friendly match against Oman but he lasted just 61 minutes. After the game, coach Vahid Halilhodzic said that ‘Honda is not up to speed with the rhythm of the game’ and hinted that the 30-year-old could be benched in Japan’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification against Saudi Arabia on the 15th of November (12:35 CET).
“I hadn’t spoken to the manager but I expected to be substituted around that time I thought I would get tired around that time although I didn’t know how sudden it would hit me,” Honda told reporters in Japan this week. “It was a good test for me and I feel that I am getting back into the groove.
“When I’m not playing, I don’t know how I’m going to feel physically, what my touch is going to be like or what my feeling for the game will be. You become conscious of these things, but yesterday I felt relaxed and I wasn’t thinking about it so I guess I’m back to normal. I hear the criticism and I’m thankful for it. If I didn’t want to prove people wrong, then I might as well give up playing.
“I have to show people that Honda is back to his best. Milan? There are some reasons that haven’t allowed me to play with continuity in these 2.5 years and I accept that. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get positive results on a personal level. There were also other important players that failed to impose themselves, I’m thinking of Torres, Kaka in his second spell, Balotelli and El Shaarawy.
“I could’ve already left Milan, but the offers I received were inadequate [he’s believed to have rejected a recent offer from China]. I am not dying to leave the club, so there is no issue on my future. During my career, I’ve always worked hard and have been able to decide my future.
“The upcoming change of ownership at the club? I can understand that the club wants to change and I think it’s the end of an era,” concluded Honda, who may seek a way out in the January mercato.