Spotlight – Shinji Kagawa

Spotlight – Shinji Kagawa


For followers of German football, Kagawa will be a name they will be well aware of but for those of us who don’t, this Japanese star is one player we need to keep a close eye on this coming season. Borussia Dortmund lit up the Bundesliga last season, storming to the title and Kagawa was central to their season. In comparison, United lacked a Silva-type playmaker in the centre who could dictate their attacking play and Fergie is hoping that Kagawa can address this problem. There is talk of Rooney pushing up, with Kagawa in the hole to feed him, this would definitely be an attractive fantasy premier league duo. Rooney is currently priced at an expensive 12m on the FPL game whilst Kagawa comes in at a more reasonable 8.5m.

Here is a video showcasing the Japanese player’s talent:

United fans will be hoping that the Japanese playmaker can settle as quickly as he did for Dortmund. His fourth league match for the club was at the home of arch-rivals Schalke 04 in what is dubbed in Germany “Die Mutter aller Derbies” – the mother of all derbies. In a glittering performance, he demonstrated so much of what his game is about, scoring twice in a 3-1 win. Both goals were scored almost nonchalantly with his weaker left foot – and saw him hauled up on the away fans’ shoulders at the end of the match, a moment Kagawa says he will never forget.

Signs are that he is fitting in well, grabbing the winner yesterday in the friendly against Shanghai Shenhua. Fergie had this to say about his new signing:
[quote]What we identified about Kagawa is exactly what I’m seeing now. The difference now is that our players are realising his qualities. He’s got quick feet, is two-footed and had a good goal ratio with Dortmund. He’s doing very well.[/quote]

In addition, Freddie Röckenhaus, journalist, filmmaker and authority on all things Dortmund, had this to say about Kagawa:

[quote]He’s a link player who plays more like a second striker and that’s where he has been at his best for Dortmund. He has a very high work rate, is a willing runner and is extraordinarily creative.[/quote]

It’s hard to choose which United midfielder to add to your pre-season squad; Young, Nani and Valencia all had an excellent rate of return last season but the threat of rotation will always loom over these players. It’s clear that big things are expected from the Japanese midfielder and if he can establish himself in the starting eleven sitting behind a solo striker, Kagawa may prove to be a more secure option than United’s wingers this season.

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Sources and Further Reading:
Kagawa’s perfect stage (Official Man Utd Website)
Fergie – Kagawa outstanding (Sky Sports)
Kagawa eyes instant impact (ESPN)
Kagawa inspires United win (Sky Sports)

Image Source: Flickr – Axel Schwenke