They got Eden Hazard we got Shinji Kagawa: Have Manchester United made the right decision?

Image for They got Eden Hazard we got Shinji Kagawa: Have Manchester United made the right decision?

Manchester United fans may well be wondering what’s happened to their club’s ambition. After having Premier League victory tugged away from them on the very last day of the season they were expected to make some serious signings when the transfer window re-opened. Sir Alex Ferguson has never been one to rest on his laurels and has shown in the past a willingness to deal with his squads shortcomings by making big signings.

So why did he let Europe’s most exciting young prospect – Eden Hazard – slip through his fingers? Manchester United courted the Belgium superstar for a number of months but failed to convert this interest into the kind of bid that could make Lille and Eden sit up and take notice. Chelsea, on the other hand – never short of cash or ambition under Roman Abramovich managed to secure a deal.

But United haven’t exactly been inactive in the transfer market. At the time of writing German football magazine Kicker have just announced that Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa is set to join the Red Devils in a €15m deal. That’s considerably less than the amount Chelsea have paid for Eden Hazard and as such many fans are considerably less excited. Yet it’s not clear that this kind of muted reaction is entirely merited.

Kagawa (23) is only two years old than Hazard (21) and has achieved similar levels of success in the Bundesliga as Hazard has in Ligue 1. Over the last two seasons Hazard made 100 appearances for Lille and scored 24 goals. Kagawa has made 71 appearances for Dortmund and scored 29 goals. Both are pretty good returns for players who are predominantly midfielders but Kagawa just shades the Belgium in this case.

Of course, Hazard is also known for his pace, trickery and his direct style of play. It’s his fancy feet that have earned him plaudits throughout Europe. Whilst Kagawa may not quite be up to scratch in this department, it’s not like he’s a clumsy old oaf. He certainly doesn’t share Nani’s propensity for running into opposition players and he’s got a bit of pace and guile to his game. He can beat people, use his feet well and work his way through defences.

He’s also got great movement and always appears to be in the right place at the right time. Whilst Eden Hazard may appear to be the player with more potential, I’d actually argue that Kagawa is the player who is most likely to join a Premier League team and immediately improve it. He also represents better value for money.

Hazard is an egoistic, over-confident lad and just doesn’t seem to fit the Fergie mould of player. Kagawa is hard working and has proven himself over the course of two Bundesliga seasons and at International level for Japan. So for me, it’s not that Fergie lacks ambition – he’s just trying to get United back into contention by making sensible signings.

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  • mkk says:

    kagawa is the man for United. Hope we’ll get him soooooon.

  • Isaidso says:

    United were ALWAYS going to bring Kagawa in whether Hazard came or not. It wasn’t an either or, United were negotiating with Dortmund at the same time as negotiating for Hazard. I personally like Kagawa, and his signing can’t come soon enough for me. I think Chelsea bought a player in Hazard who is full of himself, cannot stop talking about himself, and will want his contract renewing for more money consistently. If Chelsea don’t win anything, he will be off I believe. I may have been in the minority, I don’t know, but I didn’t like Hazard, and didn’t want him at OT. Fergie seems determined to bolster MF at last, so we wait and see who else he brings in.

    • Nick says:

      I totally agree Hazzard seems like he’s init for the money. The point being Chelsea who’s their manager ? Utd the best manager on the planet and that’s fact. Chelsea 40,000 capacity stadium utd 76,000. Utd supported by 1/10 of the world , Chelsea well take a guess. 19 titles 3 European cup 1 world cup. Now tell me Hazzard didn’t go for the money. It’s a tragedy the way football is going.

    • Steve Barnes says:

      Are you all mad, no real money for a big club and another top player goes to our competion. If fervour cannot compete why not come out and say!!
      If these are his decisions then he needs to retire, either way get used to Thursday Europa league.
      A sad state for the biggest club in the world

      • alok manutd says:

        Europa league….are u kidding me we had same points as city on the last day we lost out on goal diff.. N were did chealse finished..let me guess…6 dont woory ur luck will run out soon chealsea…how long are the post n crossbar gonna protect u…long live manutd…

      • Rob Ibrahim says:

        Are you for real Steve Barnes, obviously not a true fan who puts money in the club’s pockets.. How can you say we cannot compete last year we spent 50 million on what the club is about youngsters with massive potential. Now they will get better this season (after only just missing out on the championship) also the youngsters in the club i:e Wellbeck. Cleverley etc and this boy Kagawa is the real deal trust me and also they have not finished there Asamoah (tough tackling) which is what we need and the boy Nick Powell who again looks like he can become a top player we have and always will produce players so open your eyes we are not City and Chelsea trying to buy history and success we have it in abundance…

  • Indian Footyfan says:

    In Kagawa, Man Utd have a player who will probably do consistently better than Hazard. They both prefer to play in the same area as an attacking central midfielder, though their styles are different. There is an element of solidity in Kagawa’s game that may occasionally be overshadowed by Hazard’s brilliance, but is likely to give better long term returns. Also, Hazard seems to be a bit of a Prima Donna, who is so full of himself that he might a destabilising influence in a team. Nani & Valencia anyone?

  • Nick says:

    I think kagawa will be an instant success. You need only look at the facts 1. He will be coming from arguably the third toughest league in the world and 2. He played an integral part in winning back to back titles. My last point is he had a massive work ethic combined with skill.

  • UTTAM-JUG says:


  • tkluvunited says:

    i love to see kagawa on man u shirt…..

    • Cleggster says:


      • rob says:

        Ohhhhhhhhh Kawaga
        He’s a top Shagga

        ….He eats a lot of rice and he will score twice

        Ohhhhhhhhh Kawaga
        He’s a top Shagga

        ….He speands a lot of yen and he’ll get us a pen

        Ohhhhhhhhh Kawaga
        He’s a top Shagga

        …. He comes from the east and he is a beast

        Ohhhhhhhhh Kawaga
        He’s a top Shagga

        • Cleggster says:

          fickin hav’n it,…. “he will score more than twice” bring on next season.

  • OPACO says:

    Kagawa is the best me, bring him first one after the other.

  • Kinsy says:

    I’ll not lie. I am dissapointed that Hazzard isn’t coming to united but i am happy that Kagawa looks like he will be. would have been nice to have both. I do have to admit to being confused though. Hazzard apparently said that which ever team would guaratee him game time in his favoured position would be the team of his choice. At Man City with the likes of Toure, Silva, Nasri etc, you could see that he might not get what he wanted. At United i would have said that he would have done. But Chelsea? How can Chelsea guarantee him anything? They don’t even have a manager! Kagawa allegedly isn’t motivated by money but success, just what fergie needs. Hazzard? Well you tell me!

  • timbo says:

    Okay, the author is being funny, right? He describes Hazard as an egotistical, arrogant loud mouth who doesn’t fit the Fergie mold? Ummm, whatever happened to that self-effacing and humble Portuguese boy wonder who used to play for United….ummm….oh yeah, Cristiano Ronaldo!

    • legendnuber11 says:

      dude,United sign Ronaldo when he is 18!!!He has nothing to be as egoistic as Hazard do at that time…..United raised him up from a NOBODY to world best player…in his last 2 seasons he started to get a bit cocky,I suppose…check your fact back mate

    • gB says:

      he went 2 spain. whats ur point

  • peter says:

    no point in bullshitten…..all man utd fans would of being happy to see hazard come to OT.BUT KAGAWAY was always on the way…as for the dick head on about chris ronaldo……….dont know what he on about…he came to utd as a great prospect..and left …the best player in the world.

  • Jay says:

    “So why did he let Europe’s most exciting young prospect – Eden Hazard – slip through his fingers? Manchester United courted the Belgium superstar for a number of months but failed to convert this interest into the kind of bid that could make Lille and Eden sit up and take notice. Chelsea, on the other hand – never short of cash or ambition under Roman Abramovich managed to secure a deal.”

    You’re ofcourse aware that according to Lille, all 3 clubs – Utd/City/Chelsea, all met with Lilles valuation of the player?

    I mean obviously you are right? Otherwise you’ve just written a load of rubbish, people never do that do they?

    Change careers, please, for everyones sake.

  • jerahmeel says:

    I think Kagawa will do well. Personally, how Hazard has gone about his decision making and anouncing it to everyone has put a bit of a scare on him. I really can Kagawa being a success at OT. I encourage all ManU fans to put Hazard behind us because he is no longer our concern at this point. Let’s work with what we have.

  • Liam says:

    Difference is mate we bought ronaldo for a fair price and low wages before he was the best , the money this guy hazard wanted was ridiculous ,if we paid him that then nani ,vidic , evra, valencia etc would not be happy ! Common sense prevails . Im happy he didnt join us for 170 grand a week ,if he turns out to be bit of a mis hit then chelsea would be stuck payin 170 grand a week on someone hu werent playin like man city ..adebayorr santa cruz list goes on , well done united for sticking to your guns ,bring kagawa and players who want to play for the red shirt in . Nuff said !

  • Dike Chimezie says:

    I have always prefered kagawa to Hazard and always knew fergie wont sign 2 world class attacking midfielders and i’m happy it happens to be(or will be) kagawa.

  • Robert Larsen says:

    No, we didn’t, Hazard is the one. Every United supporter on the planet was drooling for Hazard before tuesday night, and with good reason! We lost that one, there should be no wiseasses commenting that “we always wanted Kagawa instead of Hazard”. That’s bullshit.

    • Jay says:

      The Kagawa deal has been going on for a long time you lemon.

      My feeling is that SAF had hoped for both, not just 1.

  • eltricolor2014 says:

    The Budesliga is more physical than Ligue 1 and Kagawa shows he will be home in the BPL. Will be great to have the Samarai in a United shirt.

  • Onyewuenyi says:

    This guy Hazard is a bad apple. So he want to earn higher than all the proven red machines at his litle age. He is actually a ‘hazard’. He wud hv left us worst than we are. LET’S GO KAGAWA. It is all abt trophies nd Shinji brings it!

  • Theo says:

    Is my namesake Theo not doing regular articles anymore? He gas great tactical insight!

  • Istam says:

    I am Happy that kagawa join with manutd. He is good playmaker, great vision, and can break opposite defend. Oya fergie can olso sign for lewandoski it will be great. Please get him for our strength attacker.

  • Cleggster says:

    If this guy hits the ground running, everyone outside ManU will be silent.

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