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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kagawa Making Waves

The most high-profile signing made by Manchester United in the summer transfer window was quite obviously Robin van Persie, and the former Arsenal striker inevitably captured the headlines with a goal on his debut, followed by a match-winning hat-trick at Southampton.

But Sir Alex Ferguson’s other, less-heralded summer signings have also made an immediate impact.

Fans betting on Champions League quickly warmed to their new marauding left back, Alex Buttner, who capped an all-action display with a fabulous solo effort against Wigan.

And Nick Powell, the 18-year-old midfielder from Crewe, also thumped in a goal in that game on his first appearance for the club.

But perhaps the most impressive contribution to Man United’s decent start to the season has come from Shinji Kagawa.

The ill-informed rolled their eyes when Ferguson signed Borrussia Dortmund’s playmaker, cynically assuming it was more to do with pleasing the Red Devils’ huge, lucrative Japanese fan base rather than actually bolstering United’s ageing midfield.

But Kagawa has very quickly demonstrated that he is the real deal; quick and imaginative with two good feet and with a first instinct to attack.

Early impressions are that he is a better player than Ji Sung Park (another who raised eyebrows when he was signed); the South Korean was also a massive influence on some of United’s biggest European nights.

Kagawa has an even better eye for goal (he scored 21 league goals in 49 appearances for Dortmund), but his value will surely now be more as an attacking midfielder who sets up United’s formidable strike force with his cute link-up play and clever use of space.

He has faded a little towards the end of his games for United so far, but that is to be expected, as he gets used to the pace of the Premier League. Kagawa already looks good and we have not seen the best of him yet.

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