Manchester United boss David Moyes has admitted that he expects Shinji Kagawa to get better if he is to earn a first-team spot, according to talkSPORT.
The Japan midfielder delivered an impressive performance during United's Capital One Cup victory over Liverpool last night, but has remained very much a bit-part player during the opening few fixtures this campaign.
Kagawa's exclusion from the squad when his side lost 1-0 to Liverpool coupled with his cameo as an unused substitute during the 4-1 drubbing at the hands of rivals Manchester City, have prompted speculation about his future as a United player.
And despite paying £17million to bring the playmaker from Borussia Dortmund last summer, Kagawa's venture last night against Liverpool was the first time this season he's really had a chance to make a statement to David Moyes.
Although the former Everton boss admitted there were aspects of his player's performance that caught his eye, he was quick to play down too much praise and did concede that there was plenty of room for improvement.
"He did OK. I thought he grew into the game a little bit more," Moyes said after the Liverpool win last night.
"There were bits which I was pleased with, and bits where we were looking for a little bit more. Overall, he's still getting back.
"A lot's been said [about his lack of playing time], but I think most people who watched would say he's still short of being really at full match fitness."
Following last night's triumph, United will now play Norwich at home in the next round.