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Who is: Shinji Kagawa

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All Manchester United fans will be smiling from ear to ear after hearing the news that the club has finally agreed terms with Borussia Dortmund to land Asian superstar Shinji Kagawa. The 23-year-old played a key role in Borussia Dortmund’s Double-winning success in Germany and the Bundesliga Champions were reluctant to allow him to leave. However, with only a year left on his contract, he decided to pursue a dream move to England.

The German side spotted his potential whilst playing for Cerezo Osaka in his homeland as he was a regular in the team after signing professional forms before graduating High School. In his final full season, he bagged 27 goals in 44 games and the step up to the J-League following promotion failed to decrease his goal output as he hit seven in 11 appearances.

A switch to Europe grew inevitable in 2010 and he soon became a crowd favourite at Dortmund after proving the €350,000 fee to be an absolute bargain.

In action for Japan

Kagawa represented his country in the 2007 Under-20 World Cup in Canada and also the 2008 Olympics. The midfielder’s full international debut was in a Kirin Cup match against Ivory Coast in 2008 but he missed out on a place in the World Cup squad two years later.

Club and International appearances with Goals

2006 – 2010 Cerezo Osaka                       125 (55)
2010 – 2012 Borussia Dortmund              49 (21)
2008 – Present   Japan                              31(10)

2011/2012 Season Stats

 Competition                     Matches     Goals       Assists                        

1.Bundesliga                     31                   13         12
Champions League             6                    1          –
DFB-Pokal                            5                    3            2
DFL-Supercup                      1                    –           –
Friendlies                            3                    3          –

Total:                                46                   20         14

Kagawa is most likely to be used as a central midfielder for Manchester United but you can be sure to see him push up and operate just behind the two strikers when on attack. When playing in Europe Sir Alex Ferguson might play him behind Rooney or Welbeck when playing 4-5-1 away from home.

Exciting times are ahead and I’m sure most fans cannot wait to see him dawn the Manchester United badge on his chest!

Written for @thePunditsSA by @KeeganKruger

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