The deal is done. The exciting Borussia Dortmund midfielder who can play centrally, down the wings, and as second striker, is a Red Devil. He scored 17 goals and set up 13 others in Dortmund’s march to their second Bundesliga title in succession. Kagawa’s imprint dwarfed that of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, his league peers. A stunning record for a J-league second division unknown two seasons ago.
Ralph Honigstein weighs in on the signing. Kagawa is the real deal. He doesn’t come with any bio-hazard warnings. Selling T-shirts to the Japanese market cannot hurt but that is not Utd’s primary consideration in opting for Kagawa.
He may arguably be the best Japanese player out there although Keisuke Honda might have something to say about that. Whether he can excel in the EPL remains to be seen.
Hidetoshi Nakata, the iconic face of Japanese imports, spent his last season on loan to Bolton before retirement. Junichi Inamoto, came to England directly and impressed in his two seasons at Fulham but injuries cut his career short before being traded to Cardiff City via West Brom, and there onto the Bundesliga. The skillful Shunsuke Nakamura spent his stellar career at Celtic and a generation of EPL viewers never got to see him except for tantalizing glimpses through the European competitions. Kagawa has one of the best mentors in Sir Alex Ferguson and the right demeanour to go with that talent to succeed in the EPL. You can bet Japan will be tuning into every Utd match.