Shinji Kagawa has spoken out over his summer return to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester United, suggesting that he felt such a move to Signal Iduna Park was always a possibility and that he is now back where he belongs follow a miserable end to his stint at Old Trafford.
Japanese international Kagawa initially left Bundesliga title hopefuls Dortmund back in 2012, with his positive form under the charismatic figure of Jurgen Klopp earning him a chance to prove his talents in the Premier League.
And while the 25-year-old won the title in his very first campaign in English football, Kagawa's influence at Manchester United drastically declined after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and he subsequently became nothing more than a useful squad player during the disastrous reign of successor David Moyes, making a total of just 18 top-flight appearances throughout the 2013/14 season.
An obvious struggle to leave any sort of lasting impression on Louis van Gaal eventually led to Kagawa being sold back to Borussia Dortmund for a fee believed to be in the region of £6.3 million last month.
Some may view such a return as an admission of failure, but the affable Kagawa sees it as his homecoming.
Back where he belongs
"I had a feeling when I left Dortmund that it would not be a door that was shut forever," he said in an interview that was brought to our attention by the Daily Mail.
"I had a real ambition to play in England - but now I feel I am back where I belong.
Being back with Dortmund feels like being back with family - and as a player there is no better feeling than that."
While some supporters may feel disappointed with Kagawa's stint at Manchester United, he insists he has nothing to prove moving forward at a club where he is held in enormously high regard.
"I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to the fans in England - but I know that in England they did not see the best of me. Already I am feeling that I am on the way back to the level I want to be. It will take time - but I am finally on the right path," he added.
Kagawa has certainly wasted no time in re-introducing himself to the Dortmund faithful and would have delighted Klopp with his immediate impact during Saturday's comfortable home win over Freiburg.
Clearly not overawed by his return, the former Cerezo Osaka stalwart registered on the scoresheet after just 41 minutes and featured for over an hour before being replaced by fellow summer signing Ciro Immobile.
Next up for Kagawa and Dortmund is a potentially tricky Champions League tie against Arsenal on Tuesday night.
The Gunners are currently beset by injury woe in a defensive capacity, with Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy both ruled out of action and Calum Chambers struggling with tonsillitis.
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