From The Liverpool Echo:

VVV Venlo and Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda has claimed Liverpool are interested in him.

"I was told before the match that a scout from Liverpool had come," Honda said, two days after scoring twice in promoted Venlo's 2-2 draw with ADO Den Haag at home in the Dutch first division.

The 23-year-old Japanese, who won the MVP award in the second division last season, has already scored three goals in the first two games of the new season.

Here's a look at Honda. Follow the blonde hair, and note that he's the midfielder making the great passes, not the guys missing all the easy chances at the end of them. [youtube expand=1]

Based on that footage, he's cut from the playmaker cloth like Alonso. He's very accurate as a passer from all distances, he can finish when called upon, and he appears a lot sharper than the players around him (if he didn't, I'd be terrified of adding him).

He doesn't look like an imposing physical force, to be kind, and he'd get knocked around a lot in the EPL during his first stint. But he could have a fine second season after getting used to the game and bulking up a bit. I could see him as a top reserve for our midfield by 2010.

Have I mentioned how much I love the silly season?