Last summer, Manchester United signed Borussia Dortmund’s talented midfielder Shinji Kagawa.

United fans worldwide rejoiced then, as they thought that United’s midfield crisis was finally coming to an end. However, coming to the end of his first season at Old Trafford, things for the Japanese have not gone according to plan.

He is yet to guarantee a place in the starting lineup, and is left out for important games. His talent and skills are beyond doubt, but his success at Manchester depends on how Sir Alex chooses to utilise his services.

The main reasons that he has not lived up to the hype are:


The worst thing that could happen to a player in his debut season is injury. Kagawa found that out in an unfortunate way! If player gets injured in the middle of the season (when he had nearly broken into the starting lineup), his season is most likely to be ruined.

Lack of physicality

Kagawa is a highly creative and technical player. If there is one area in his game that you could flaw, it is his lack of physical presence in the game. But we all know the rule of EPL (the unspoken one!), you either crush or get crushed.

Kagawa’s German adaptation of game means that he has not been designed as a player to crush the opposition. This has left him kind of impaired! But he could still be a success with his skill and technical approach to game, if he could just increase his physical dominance on the game.

Adaptation problem

Transition from German football to the English football is not easy, technical ability is an always welcome trait in English football, but physicality is the survival tactic. So unless he can adapt quickly to the rigours of the Premier League, he will continue to struggle at Old Trafford.

Game Time

As the deal for Kagawa was finalised, fans and pundits alike were asking the same question, where would Manchester United accommodate an attacking midfielder when they already had Wayne Rooney to play behind Robin van Persie?

Kagawa has had to compete for places with Wayne Rooney, and that is a difficult job. To walk into Manchester United and displace United and displace Wayne Rooney from his perch takes a player of enormous quality. Kagawa, with all his skill and talent, has unfortunately not got more to offer than Rooney. So he has found game time hard to come by. And when he has had chance to play, he has been shunted to the flanks, where his influence is limited.


So does this mean that Kagawa has failed at Old Trafford? Not a chance! He has shown brilliance in some matches - most recently against Norwich City. Talent, he is not lacking. Kagawa is a star, and with all the help he can get, he will most probably succeed


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