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, 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:
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