Monday 06 August 2012

New player factfile #7: Man Utd's Shinji Kagawa

The Japanese international was a star of Borussia Dortmund's double success last term

  • Kagawa was an integral part of Borussia Dortmund's success last season

  • His 13 Bundesliga goals helped Dortmund celebrate the league and cup double

  • Kagawa is also a star of Japan's national side, with a ratio of one goal every three matches

  • Kagawa found the interest of Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson flattering

  • He is now looking forward to his first taste of Barclays Premier League action with United

In the seventh of our profiles on this season's Barclays Premier League signings, premierleague.com presents an at-a-glance stats sheet on the goalscoring midfielder who impressed new Swansea coach Michael Laudrup last season.

Shinji Kagawa

Club: Manchester United
Nationality: Japanese
Position: Attacking midfielder
DOB: 17/03/89
Age: 23
Height: 5ft 7in
Transfer fee: Undisclosed
Fantasy Premier League transfer fee: £8.5m
Contracted: Until 2016
Previous clubs: Cerezo Osaka (2006-10), Borussia Dortmund (2010-12)
League appearances: 125 (J-League), 49 (Bundesliga)
League goals:  55 (J-League), 21 (Bundesliga)
International appearances: 33
International goals:
11
Honours: 2010-11, 2011-12 Bundesliga title winner; 2011-12 German Cup winner; 2011 Asian Cup winner
Nickname: Shinji

Profile: A major factor in Borussia Dortmund's recent success, Kagawa is a skilful dribbler who can operate behind a striker or on either wing. He became the German champions' talisman in Mario Götze's injury-enforced absence – scoring 17 goals and getting 13 assists in his last season at the club. His quick feet and passing ability make him a constant threat to opposition defences and an exciting addition to the Manchester United squad.

He says: "I met [Ferguson] and contacted him a few times afterwards. I thought we hit it off, which meant a lot to me. He told me, 'Don't worry about a thing, trust me. I would love it if you could take on this huge challenge', and when a legendary man like him says that to you, it carries a lot of weight."

They say: "I've only said to him [Kagawa] 'good luck' because this is just the start for him. I know he'll need results to be deemed a success at Manchester United. But I fully expect to congratulate him three years from now because he clearly has the mental strength and the technical ability to make it there." (Alberto Zaccheroni, Japan manager)

Interesting stat: Dortmund signed Kagawa from Cerezo Osaka for just €350,000 in 2010.

Did you know? Kagawa turned down the chance to wear Manchester United’s iconic number 7 shirt because he wants to prove himself at the club before accepting such an honour.

New player factfile #1 Marko Marin
New player factfile #2: Fabio Borini
New player factfile #3: Jan Vertonghen
New player factfile #4: Jay Fernandez
New player factfile #5: Mladen Petric
New player factfile #6: Michu

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Key Points

  • Kagawa has made 33 international appearances for Japan
  • Was inspiration behind Borussia Dortmund's double win last term
  • Midfielder excited about playing for United this season