Manchester United have needed another creative midfielder for the last two-or-three seasons. Thanks to Scholes retiring, Ryan Giggs growing older and other players being rather ineffective, the Red Devils have lacked some cut and thrust.
In recent times, United have been linked to the likes of Luka Modric, Wesley Sneijder, Cesc Fabregas (pfui!) and Thiago Alcantara. In the end, however, David Moyes ended up signing Marouane Fellaini.
The big Belgium is many things, but he’s not really a creative midfielder, or play-maker. He prefers to play in the holding role, where he can protect the back four and carry the ball forward whenever possible.
I’m sure Fellaini will be an excellent addition to this United team, I’m just not sure he provides a fix to Manchester United’s big issue.
The fleet-footed midfielder was known for his ability to pick out a pass, work space and score goals. Watching him play at the time, he reminded me somewhat of Frank Lampard, particularly in terms of the positions he takes up, his economical passing and his willingness to shoot whenever possible.
Just check out these stats: back in 2011/12 he scored 17 goals in 43 games and the season before that he grabbed 12 from 28. That’s an excellent return for an attacking midfielder.
But we shouldn’t underplay the technical aspects of his game, or his ability to fashion chances for other team-mates. His composure and decision-making processes when on the ball are excellent.
So why aren’t Manchester United utilizing him more? Why won’t David Moyes give him the opportunity he needs to prove himself?
At the time of writing, Kagawa has played just 7 minutes for United this season. He wasn’t even on the bench for United’s 1-0 defeat to Liverpool. That’s particularly baffling, given how lifeless and uninspired United’s midfield looked on the day.
At the very least Kagawa would freshen things up and provide a genuine goal-threat from midfield. Once he’s put a run of games together, I’m sure there’d be no looking back. He just needs a fair shot.
Let’s leave the last words to his former manager, 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.” (Source: The Mirror)
That emotional response should be revealing. It’s time to stop relying on the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young and to turn to Shinji.
What’s your take? Are United wasting Shinji Kagawa?
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