Posted on Monday, 15th October 2012 by Daniel Cross
I imagine most reds will have been impressed with Shinji Kagawa so far, I have been too, but if I am honest though, there is still something missing.
Of course there is. He has only been in England for a few months and has started just six Premier League games. He is still adjusting to life in England, both on and off the pitch. It will only be a matter of time before he finds top form.
Two goals and an assist in six starts is nothing to be sniffed at, but given time, Kagawa will be the kind of creative force we have been crying out for.
In our first game of the season the Japanese playmaker had me in awe. No mean feat considering our other nine outfield players were pretty awful. His vision and awareness seemed on another level. He was playing passes that even watching on TV, I couldn’t see (and neither could his team-mates).
Since then, I must admit, I have been a little underwhelmed. I think perhaps I came to expect too much. Then again, perhaps not, he is immensely talented after all.
He is quick and a skilful dribbler. 95 times out of 100, his first touch is perfect. He can see passes like few others in our team, and he can finish. Really, Kagawa, and United, should be a lot more of a threat going forward. And they will be.
There have been signs in our last couple of matches (Newcastle away and the second half against Spurs) of United potentially putting fear back into teams they face. From here on, in an attacking sense anyway, I believe we can only improve.
The rest of the midfield will learn to trust Kagawa more. Feed him the ball in even the trickiest of situations, because more often than not, he will get out of it. He will also learn, how best to help the team and how his forwards want their passes.
Kagawa recently revealed that Sir Alex has urged to face the opponent’s goal more. And this is probably sound advice. While the 23-year-old can have an influence by dropping deep and linking play, he is surely at his best when running with the ball, while defenders (and even fellow attackers) have no idea what he will do.
Fergie’s comment is probably aimed at turning him into more of a goal threat. Kagawa is quick and comfortable on both feet, he should, and he will, get more goals as the season progresses.
I have probably been a bit harsh on him in this piece. His rise over the past few years has been astonishing and he is still young. It is just that I am very excited about the improvement he still has left.
By the end of the season I am pretty confident that we will have one of Europe’s best ‘number 10s’, and all for (around) £16m. Who said there is no value in the market?