Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has a long and successful history of signing the very best players and building the very best teams.
However, amongst the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Eric Cantona, Ole Gunar Solskjaer, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo, there have been some ‘flops’ swept under the carpet and bundled out the back door at Old Trafford.
Is Shinji Kagawa going to become one of them? Juan Sebastian Veron, Eric Djemba Djemba, Kleberson, Bebe, and good old Ralphe Milne were all big signings that made big flops of themselves.
Even the likes of Gerard Pique, now regarded as one of the world’s most talented and decorated defenders, was pretty poor at times for United.
Shinji Kagawa was immense in his two seasons at Borussia Dortmund. With him in the heart of their midfield, they became last season’s Bundesliga champions ahead of the mighty Bayern Munich.
He played 43 games for Dortmund last season and was easily one of the first names on Jurgen Klopp’s teamsheet. However, in his first season at Old Trafford he’s been a bit hit and miss, to say the least.
He keeps stating publicly that he wants to improve and he’s not satisfied with his form and I know he’s had his fitness troubles this term but he doesn’t look, not yet at least, like a Manchester United player.
When Wayne Rooney arrived from Everton aged just 18 years old, he looked instantly like he belonged in a Red Devils shirt. As soon as he put it on and walked out at Old Trafford, it was as if he’d always been there and always would.
Kagawa doesn’t look comfortable and I know there will be those that say give him time and he’s adjusting to the league but sometimes it just clicks, for some players. And sometimes, for others, it doesn’t.
He’s not made the worst start – he’s made 15 appearances and scored two goals and he’s obviously trying. That’s the problem though – the first majority of players mentioned at the top of this page didn’t have to try. Not that hard, anyway.
He cost United around £17 million which isn’t as disastrous as the £50 million Chelsea paid for Fernando Torres but I wonder how long Ferguson will persevere with him if he doesn’t start to see tangible results.
There’s no doubt he’s a good player but I’m just not entirely sure he’s a good Manchester United player.
image: © Marcel Sigg