Manchester United Transfer Rumours: Why Shinji Kagawa Would Be a Great Fit
Kagawa has refused to sign an extension for the next season, so Dortmund will be looking to sell him rather than give him up on a Bosman transfer the season after next. Kagawa's contract with the Bundesliga champion expires in 2013.
Kagawa represents one of several world-class players that have been reportedly linked with Manchester United, and it makes sense for Sir Alex Ferguson to bring him to Old Trafford.
Here are five reasons why.
Statement of Intent
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While Sir Alex has excelled in incorporating an exciting blend of youth and experience, he hasn’t made a marquee signing in years. Last year, Sir Alex brought in Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David de Gea, all with potential, but none of them the finished product.
While all contributed to some extent to United, none made a particular stamp on the game.
A marquee signing can sometimes do wonders for a team. It boosts morale through the ranks and signifies a strong intent to compete on several fronts. They also gel quite effectively with the team and make strong contributions from the very start. Think Sergio Agüero.
Bringing in someone like Kagawa, a world-class, young product would make other teams wary of United
Fire Power Up Front
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United sometimes function as a team overly reliant on Wayne Rooney. Often times, he needs to drop deep and function as an attacking midfielder of sort, orchestrating the attack and setting up other strikers.
In big games, when Wayne Rooney has an off-day, United have an off-day. This problem might be remedied by bringing in Kagawa. His introduction would mean that the creative burden would be lifted from Rooney’s shoulders, and he can focus primarily on his goal-scoring duties.
Both players would complement each other immensely, and since Kagawa also does not shy away from taking a shot himself and scoring, United will have a lot of fire-power up front.
The Asian Market
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The Asian market contains a host of emerging and prosperous countries who follow football on a regular basis. There lays enormous financial potential in the Asian market in terms of selling of merchandise and building a brand.
With Ji-Sung Park, Manchester United were able to penetrate the Asian market and establish a strong foothold. It is reported that the sales of United merchandise is a multi-million pound earner each year.
In Korea, it is reported that 29 million out of 49 million are fans of Manchester United, and Park’s popularity is one of the major reasons. There is even a Park Ji-Sung Street in Suwon
Similarly, tapping up Kagawa would reap huge financial benefits from the Asian market, primarily the Japanese market. Manchester United are already a household name in Asia, and signing Kagawa would boost their popularity through the roof.
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Shinji Kagawa arrived at Borussia Dortmund from Cerezo for a relatively diminutive fee of €350,000 in 2010. Despite missing the majority of the season through injury, which he picked up on international duty, Kagawa became an instrumental figure for Dortmund helping them win the Bundesliga. For his efforts, he was placed in the Bundesliga Best XI.
2011-2012 was an even better year for Kagawa, as he racked up 14 goals and seven assists during the campaign to help Dortmund defend the Bundesliga title.
Shinji Kagawa is a phenomenally talented player, and he will only get better under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson. He has the natural flair of an attacking midfielder—creative and technically sound. He can glide through defenders, has great ball control and creates numerous goal-scoring opportunities and scores plenty himself.
Currently, Kagawa is at the prime of his career and would certainly add that level of panache that goes missing from the United midfield.
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Kagawa’s biggest weakness is his defensive ability, as he is weak at tackling and intercepting. So in a 4–4–2 formation, Kagawa would be an immense liability.
The major problem of course is that Sir Alex Ferguson loves the 4–4–2 formation. Throughout his managerial career, Sir Alex has employed this formation extensively, and almost all of the games this season have seen Sir Alex use this formation.
Nevertheless, I think that a change to a 4–2–3–1 formation or a 4–3–3 formation is necessary to adapt to the modern game. In 2010, none of the winners of the Spanish, English and Italian Leagues, as well as the Champions League, relied on the 4–4–2.
If you look at the finalists in this year’s Champions League, both Chelsea and Bayern Munich employ a 4–2–3–1 formation.
Sir Alex is not a big fan of this formation, but to challenge for Europe and also on the domestic frontier, some tactical versatility in formations is indeed required.
However, Kagawa can also be incorporated into the United squad in a slight modification of the 4–4–2, the 4–2–1–1, where he can play “in the hole” behind the main striker.
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