When, almost a year ago, Manchester United confirmed the signing of Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund many Reds couldn’t believe their luck for United had just secured the services one of Europe’s best attacking midfielder, a player who had just won the Double in Germany and was named Bundesliga’s Player of the Year.
As it turned out, Kagawa’s first season at Old Trafford suffered a very slow start due to an injury that forced the Japanese to a lengthy spell on the sidelines, before he finally broke into the team, scoring six goals and assisting three. Despite being played out on the left rather than in the offensive midfielder role he prefers Kagawa, unlike one of his team-mates, kept his toys in the pram but it’s safe to assume that he’d hope to be deployed in his natural position next season.
His former coach, Jurgen Klopp, has no doubts as to where the Japanese is at his most effective: “Shinji Kagawa is one of the best players in the world and he now plays 20 minutes at Manchester United – on the left wing! My heart breaks. Really, I have tears in my eyes,” said Klopp in an interview with the Guardian ahead of this Saturday’s Champions League final, “Central midfield is Shinji’s best role. He’s an offensive midfielder with one of the best noses for goal I ever saw. But for most Japanese people it means more to play for Man United than Dortmund. We cried for 20 minutes, in each others’ arms, when he left.”
Let’s hope David Moyes agrees with Klopp.
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