Manchester United must use playmaker Kagawa

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Shinji Kagawa has thrown the gauntlet down to David Moyes.

After an impressive display for Japan in their 3-1 win against Ghana this week, which was capped with a fine goal, Kagawa was feeling brave.

He implied to journalists that he was failing to understand why the Manchester United manager wasn't playing him.

He said: "Please ask David Moyes why I’m not in the side.

"It is frustrating not playing but to score a goal like that gives me confidence. Hopefully I can take that back to my club with me and things will improve."

Far from being the "dig" or the "slam" national newspapers are claiming it to be, these quotes are nothing more than a message to the new manager at Old Trafford - Kagawa is ready to perform for Manchester United.

No doubt Moyes would have seen Kagawa's highlights from Japan's game and would inevitably be impressed by what he saw.

The 24-year-old twisted and turned his way around the Ghana players like they weren't there. The coaching staff at Manchester United would've noted this performance and will surely be thinking that Kagawa is closing in on his best form.

Questions have been raised over why Kagawa hasn't featured much for United this season. So far he has been granted just seven minutes of playing time - a cameo appearance in the Community Shield tie against Wigan Athletic.

The #FreeShinji campaign launched by Borussia Dortmund fans highlighted how much Kagawa was loved when playing for the Bundesliga club. If United don't want him, then Jurgen Klopp wouldn't hesitate to take him back.

But it looks as though Moyes is ready to launch Kagawa in to the Premier League with devastating effect.

Kagawa struggled to adapt to the Premier League last season. His struggles with injuries meant he was never playing at 100%. Glimpses of his brilliance were witnessed against Norwich City, in which he scored a hat-trick and, when fully fit, United can expect more of the same.

It is clear why Kagawa hasn't been playing. A demanding international fixture list during the summer, coupled with excessive media commitments during United's tour of Asia, left him weeks behind team mates in terms of pre-season fitness.

By not throwing him in to the mix early on in the season, Moyes has managed the situation excellently and is likely to reap the benefits.

Playing him unfit would not only have risked further injury, it would have also risked damaging Kagawa's morale. The fans are still unsure of the Japanese playmaker and one bad performance could see the Old Trafford faithful turn on him.

Like Gervinho at Arsenal, once the fans have made up their mind about you, it is hard to change it. Gervinho lost the fan's faith and, inevitably, lost all confidence in his own ability. He crumbled and took off to Rome, but Kagawa can succeed where the African failed.

Now Kagawa is reaching peak fitness and has announced he is ready to be trusted with that deep-lying No.10 role behind Robin van Persie.

All he needs is a run of games to build up that all-important confidence. If he does, United could have another PFA Player of the Year contender on their books. 

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Manchester United
Shinji Kagawa
Premier League

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