Borussia Dortmund have completed the recapture of midfielder Shinji Kagawa, re-signing the midfielder from Manchester United just two years after his departure, the club announced.
The Japanese international has endured a torrid two seasons in England, struggling to fit in with the Red Devils, making 57 appearances for the club across all competitions, per the official Manchester United website.
This summer wasn't the first transfer window in which Kagawa was tipped for a return to the Black and Yellows, failing to fit in under David Moyes' reign and Louis van Gaal's appointment not offering much promise, either.
The Dutch tactician spoke in the wake of his side's 1-1 draw with Sunderland last week, per ESPN, noting that Kagawa's playing preferences didn't match up with what was desired of him by his boss: "Kagawa did not wish to fulfil my wishes, my philosophy when I played him in the United States."
Despite his drop in reputation, however, those at the Westfalenstadion will be overjoyed to see their former hero make his comeback, having enjoyed a near-opposite two-year success in Germany before moving.
ESPN FC paint a picture of just how important the return is to Dortmund's fans:
Transfermarkt illustrates how Kagawa thrived in the German top flight between 2010 and 2012, scoring 21 goals and making two assists in just 49 league appearances.
Bundesliga writer Jonathan Harding questions whether or not the mould still fits for Kagawa, however, his stint with United perhaps having irrevocably upset his development:
The ex-Cerezo Osaka playmaker was a key component in both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 Bundesliga title victories, and will hope to steer Dortmund toward more silverware in his second tenure under Jurgen Klopp.
Shinji Kagawa is one of the best players in the world and he now plays 20 minutes at Manchester United - on the left wing! My heart breaks. Really, I have tears in my eyes. Central midfield is Shinji's best role. He's an offensive midfielder with one of the best noses for goal I ever saw.
But for most Japanese people it means more to play for Man United than Dortmund. We cried for 20 minutes, in each others' arms, when he left. One year before that Nuri Sahin went because Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world. If players are patient enough we can develop the team into one of the biggest in the world.
Now reunited with Kagawa, the Dortmund chief looks to reincorporate the 25-year-old into his line-up, but by no means will he be an automatic choice in the starting XI.
First, the task will assuredly be to prove that he has the same potential he did upon his departure from Germany, before then hoping to compete with the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Reus, Milos Jojic and Pierre-Aumerick Abameyang for playing time.
For now, however, both player and club will simply rejoice at having been brought back together, Kagawa seeing the move as a second opportunity to star in one of Europe's top teams and the club itself hoping the reinvestment will pay dividends.
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