Shinji Kagawa is to take on the mantle of midfield genius at Manchester United. A role that carries more weight of expectation than any other.
While Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced of the Japanese playmaker’s role in United’s future, the jury is still out on whether Kagawa will be able to match the likes of Yaya Toure from Manchester City.
Journalist Koki Harada, of Tokyo Chunichi Sports speaking to ManUtd.com says, “There have been Japanese players in the Premier League in the past - Junichi Inamoto at Fulham, Hidetoshi Nakata at Bolton and, last season, Ryo Miyaichi at Bolton. But United is a bigger club than those and Kagawa has the potential to be a big star.”
As to what sort of player Kagawa is, he adds, “United have no similar players. He's a bit like Samir Nasri or Luka Modric and creates lots of chances, but scores more goals than either of them. His best position is just behind the striker, where he played at Dortmund, but he can also play on the left, though he's not the quickest of players.
“I can see Sir Alex tinkering with his formation to play him in a 4-3-2-1. It's brilliant that he'll get the chance to work with a wonderful midfielder like Paul Scholes.”
Kagawa adapted very quickly after moving to Borussia Dortmund in Germany from the J-League in 2010 and has been instrumental in helping them to back-to-back Bundesliga titles, particularly in last season's double.