Kagawa is desperate to get back in the scoring groove.
Kagawa has yet to have a consistent run in the side since he swapped the Bundesliga for the Premier League in a move to the Red Devils in the summer of 2012, but has said he puts the pressure on himself to score in every game – something which he hasn’t managed to do at all so far this season under David Moyes.
He’s quoted on Goal, saying: ‘I still haven’t scored any goals this season so I’ve felt very irritated. This is the first time in my career that I haven’t been able to produce, so it’s disappointing.
‘I pressure myself to score in every game but some days it feels like I just can’t win. I know I have to overcome that; actually if I can’t it really shows that I haven’t grown as a player. So because of that I have to really focus on the second half of the season and overcome that mental block.’
Kagawa has made 17 appearances for the reigning Premier League champions this season but has only managed to provide one assist on the attacking front, having been used out wide, and rarely in his preferred more central role. It's a role it looks increasingly unlikely he will be used in the foreseeable future given the arrival of Juan Mata from Chelsea, and Wayne Rooney’s return from injury.
He managed to score on six occasions last season in the league, including a classic hat-trick against Norwich City which has shown what he is capable of on the attacking front.
However, he hasn’t hit the heights of his final season in the Bundesliga, where the Japanese international scored on 13 occasions, providing 12 assists – where he won the double with Borussia Dortmund. He notched up a further four goals in the DFB Pokal and Champions League campaigns.
First of all, Kagawa needs to concentrate on impressing David Moyes to get into, and remain in the Manchester United line-up, and if he is used in the right way he should get over his mental block.
image: © Marcel Sigg