Shinji Kagawa Needs a Chance to Show David Moyes His Worth at Manchester United

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentAugust 30, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26:  Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United warms up prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Shinji Kagawa has got plenty of admirers. 

Jurgen Klopp, manager of Borussia Dortmund, is one. Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid is another. Thousands of his fans troop into Old Trafford each week and in Japan, he's got a whole nation behind him.

But if the first weeks of the new season are anything to go by, Kagawa is yet to win over David Moyes. 

The new United manager has picked teams to play Wigan, Swansea and Chelsea, but Kagawa has seen only seven minutes of action.

This season was meant to be the one when United supporters saw the real Shinji Kagawa, the one that made them see why Dortmund fans rave about him.

His first season in England never really got going. 

He impressed in the opening games but was quickly sidelined with a knee injury. When he returned, he was often played out wide.

There were highlights, like his hat-trick against Norwich, but he was restricted to just 26 appearances, most of them out of position.

It was his form as a No. 10 at Dortmund that convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him. But with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney as teammates, he's rarely had the chance to play there for United.

Moyes is a fan of attacking midfielders playing behind a central striker. But in the two Premier League games so far this season, he's used Danny Welbeck and Rooney in the role.

All the while, Kagawa has warmed the bench.

As the Rooney transfer saga rumbled on this summer, there were some United fans who saw his rumoured departure to Chelsea as a chance for Kagawa to become a regular starter.

With Rooney moved on, Kagawa could play behind Van Persie, finding space between the lines to create and score goals with his instinctive movement and clever finishing.

But Rooney's hopes of a move to Chelsea look doomed. So, too, does Kagawa's hope of playing in his favourite position anytime soon. Moyes has already shown that, as a No. 10, Kagawa is third choice. 

The United manager insists the 24-year-old is going nowhere before Monday's deadline.

And while it's always nice to know you're wanted, Kagawa is facing another season on the periphery, either on the bench or out wide.

This summer, some Dortmund fans launched a Twitter trend named FreeShinji. They want their former star freed from Old Trafford so he can return to the Westfalenstadion. 

Kagawa will hope he at least gets a chance this season to show Moyes what all the fuss is about.