Shinji Kagawa set for stardom in 2013/14
Manchester United opinion: Shinji Kagawa has the potential to be the star man at Old Trafford next season
Shinji Kagawa was impressive in short bursts last season, but was hampered by several niggling injuries and struggled to adapt to his new role at Old Trafford.
According to The Daily Mail, Kagawa has vowed to improve next season and match the exploits of Manchester United team-mates Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
With Shinji Kagawa on the verge of stardom at Old Trafford, here are five reasons why he’ll be Manchester United’s best player next season.
Decent run of games
First things first, Shinji Kagawa needs a decent run of games. The 2012/13 season saw Kagawa make 20 Premier league appearances, a mere shadow of the 38 most fans were expecting. After a number of injures and being second fiddle to talisman Wayne Rooney, Kagawa is yet to experience a decent run of games at Old Trafford.
It’s clear that Wayne Rooney is fed up of playing in attacking midfield role and has expressed this by wanting out at Old Trafford. It's a shame Kagawa wasn't given more of a chance in this role because this is where he excels best.
Next season, providing Rooney leaves or is happy in another role, Kagawa should become United's automatic first-choice attacking-midfielder. With a decent run of games, his improvement would be accelerated and we could see Kagawa becoming much more influential and creative.
The Premier league is not for boys, players have to be at their physical peak to be able to cope with the speed and strength of the English game At times last season when Kagawa looked jaded after the hour mark and had to be substituted.
However, there's a reason David Moyes' Everton usually finished the season strong. The Scottish manager is renowned for getting the optimum out of his players and pushing them to their physical limits with brutal training regimes. Part of Moyes’ managerial philosophy is work ethic and Kagawa will surely be someone who benefits the most from the Scotsman vast experience.
The Japanese international can be excused a stop-start debut season in Manchester having to adapt to a new country, new language, and most importantly a new squad of players with different playing styles.
Adapting to life in the Premier League can be difficult, some players adapt with ease, and some don’t make it at all. This was most notable with Manchester City’s former player Robinho who left the club after feeling homesick just a season and a half after joining.
Kagawa linked up with some of his teammates better than others in games especially when playing in his favoured position in the hole. He connected well at times with Rooney when playing on the wings and it’s fair to say the Red Devils' wingers certainly didn't give him much to work with either offering no flair or creativity on the ball when he played a Central role
If David Moyes can buy a box-to-box midfielder this summer, which is looking increasingly likely, this will make life a lot easier for Kagawa. It will enable him to link up with another attacking minded player and create more chance going forward.
Let’s not ignore the facts; Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa is a raw talent.
The former Borussia Dortmund star is an intelligent player with great energy. He has a fantastic footballing brain, can spot a run and create excellent runs of his own. He is tidy on the ball, can get out of tight situations and It’s most probable we’ll see more of a goal scoring influence and a final-third impact next season.
It’s obvious that we’re yet to see Kagawa at his physical peak. He has wonderful technical abilities that will only improve when he reaches his physical peak. Should Kagawa have a decent run of games and improve his strength over the summer, we’ll a much more influential and deadly player next season.
We’ve seen many articles of what David Moyes can bring to Manchester United but many have forgotten the tactical impact his philosophy will have on Shinji Kagawa.
The Scotsman essentially aims to deploy a second forward, and we saw this with his former players Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini inhabiting the role at various times during his tenure. This would allow Kagawa to operate best behind Robin van Persie and become more of a link with those behind him, playing between the lines. The 24-year-old will then become more of a playmaker and creative character in the final third.
Moyes will also order full-backs Rafael and Patrice Evra to push forward down the flanks and create mismatches with opposing defenders. Kagawa will thrive operating in this environment with greater attacking options on the wings.
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