Shinji Kagawa’s return to Borussia Dortmund after a failed stint with Manchester United has been greeted with ‘delight’ by Jurgen Klopp, who is even more thankful to have recruited the Japan international after injury to Marco Reus.
Kagawa rejoined Dortmund on the final day of the transfer window for only €8 million and made an immediate impact on his second debut for the club, scoring once and providing another in the Bundesliga defeat of Freiburg at the weekend.
The 25-year-old’s role has taken on an even greater importance after Reus was injured on international duty, with the playmaker once against sustaining ankle ligament damage playing for Germany. He is expected to be out for around a month.
This setback places pressure on Kagawa to embark on a rich vein of form during the Reus absence, and Klopp is relieved he was able to recruit the former from Manchester United just in time to prevent BVB’s injury crisis running even deeper.
“I am really delighted that Shinji is back here.” Klopp told the Evening Standard.
“With his quick turn of pace in tight spaces, he’ll really do our game good. He can set up and score goals.
“And unfortunately, we now know that Marco Reus will be out for four weeks after damaging his ankle ligaments, so Shinji’s transfer is all the more timely.”
It may well be that this is something of a dressed rehearsal for Kagawa with it seeming rather likely that he will have to succeed Reus on a permanent basis in the not so distant future.
A release clause of £19.8 million written into Reus’ contract reportedly becomes active at the end of the season and, unless he unexpectedly signs a new deal, the 25-year-old would appear set to leave for a club of more significant standing.
Manchester United have, of course, been linked with a move for Reus as Louis van Gaal looks to further reinforce his ranks, and it could be that the club formalise their supposed interest in the January transfer window rather than wait until the summer.
Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in the Germany international as have, somewhat inevitably, Bayern Munich having recruited BVB’s best player for two successive summers.