United have confirmed that they have signed Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund for around £17m. The deal is subject to a medical and work permit.
A club statement read:
“Manchester United is delighted to announce that it has agreed terms with both Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Kagawa for his transfer to the club.
“The deal is subject only to the player medical and obtaining a UK work permit. These conditions are anticipated to be completed by the end of June. Further details will be announced in due course.”
By all accounts Kagawa is a terrific young player (he is 23), who scored 13 goals in 31 Bundesliga games for Dortmund last year, helping them to a league and cup double. And he doesn’t just score goals, Kagawa also assisted on more goals last season than anyone in Germany.
Kagawa is a basically a cheaper alternative than Eden Hazard in both transfer fee (Chelsea paid £32m for Hazard), and wages. Kagawa is on nowhere near the reported £150,000-a-week wages that Hazard is getting at Chelsea.
The big question in regards to Kagawa is where he will fit into United’s 4-4-2 formation?
Kagawa’s best position is playing in the “number 10” position between the midfield and defenders. That is where he played his best football for Dortmund. But that position at United is where Wayne Rooney plays, and I cannot see Sir Alex moving Rooney out of that spot.
When he plays for Japan Kagawa plays out on the left of an attacking three, which at United is the spot usually held by Ashley Young or Nani. I wrote yesterday about Nani stalling on a new contract, and maybe Kagawa is being viewed as left sided player if Nani leaves?
Another option would be to play Kagawa as an attacking midfield player, similar to where Frank Lampard had a lot of success for Chelsea over the years, arriving late into the box to score goals. The downside of that role for Kagawa, is that it leaves United a little exposed defensively in midfield as it will be only Carrick left in front of the back four.
What do you think of the Kagawa signing? Where do you think he will fit into the United line-up?