While Kagawa’s signing does have obvious financial benefits, the primary reason he has been brought in is to infuse the Manchester United ranks with a finished, world-class playmaker. He will not only add that level of panache to the United midfield, but he will also allow them to compete in both domestic and European fronts.
Furthermore, Kagawa equips Sir Alex Ferguson with a myriad of opportunities to improve upon tactics. Versatility is the key these days. A quick look back at the recently finished Euros has shown that the classic 4-4-2 is now outdated. It is time to move forward by employing other formations.
Kagawa allows United to play either a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 formation alongside Sir Alex’s preferred 4-4-2. This means greater control in midfield, more firepower upfront and greater possession.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation, which might suit both Sir Alex and Kagawa, the Japanese maestro will, in most likelihood, take up the position of attacking central midfielder (ACM), sitting behind United’s talisman, Wayne Rooney. This will allow him to orchestrate fluid play and also take shots when deemed necessary.
Besides boasting the usual repertoire required for an ACM—great vision, passing and dribbling skills—Kagawa can also score goals. And by the plentiful. Last season alone, Kagawa amassed 13 goals in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund and played a key role in their title-winning season.
One thing is for certain—Kagawa does not shy away from taking shots. He also is deft at creating spaces. He will work well with Rooney and Antonio Valencia, receiving passes from them and scoring.
To those who doubt his goal-scoring abilities, here are some of his best goals thus far.
We start off with a goal against VfL Wolfsburg. Into the 25th second, you can witness Kagawa making an intelligent run and scoring with a strong finish.
Kagawa scores a beauty from way outside the box. The goal starts at 1:04.
The video here starts at 1:12. Witness as one of the Borussia Dortmund players takes on several of St. Pauli defenders drawing them toward him.
Shinji Kagawa places himself intelligently in the middle of the box away from other players and receives the ball, which he has no problem dispatching into the bottom-left corner.
Here, at 0:12, Kagawa starts the move, receives back the ball and finishes with a pseudo-overhead kick into the top-right corner against Sandhausen.
This goal starts at around 1:06. Kagawa makes another intelligent run, leaving defenders behind in the dust, goes past the keeper and scores.
FC Schalke is the victim this time of Kagawa's footballing exploits. Watch as Kagawa runs past several defenders before scoring from outside the box.
Into the 0:43 mark, Kagawa makes a Zidane-esque turn to take the ball away from his marker and scores yet another great goal against Hannover 96.
Bayer Leverkusen is at the receiving end of this goal. Watch as Kagawa makes an absolutely splendid run and showcases a bit of magic before lodging the ball into the back of the net.
The goal starts around the 3:09 mark.
It's against Hannover yet again. Here, none of the defenders seem to be able to close down on Kagawa.
The video starts at the 2:01 mark.
Witness as Kagawa starts off the move, receives the ball back and performs some incredible magic.
The video starts off at 1:25.