Anyone who had seen Shinji Kagawa play for Borussia Dortmund prior to his arrival at Old Trafford knew what Manchester United were getting.
The Japanese play-maker arrived in the summer of 2012 for a bargain price of an initial £12million. But aside from a few moments of brilliance – most notably his hat-trick against Norwich City – Kagawa has rarely featured under either David Moyes or Sir Alex Ferguson before him.
With a year to settle in, this was the campaign in which he was expected to soar. But instead he has spent the vast majority of his time on the bench, watching his teammates struggle for consistency and at times creativity.
And now – as is so often the case when a player heads off on international duty – Kagawa has had his say on his situation.
In an interview published by the Japan Times, the 24-year-old said, “Of course it’s important for a player to continue getting games, but there is not much I can do about my situation. It (regular football) is something that I won’t be able to gain unless I am delivering results.
“I can’t change the situation I’m in so I want to turn it into something positive and do well (on Wednesday).”
That is when Kagawa and his Japan teammates face New Zealand in Tokyo, and it will be another chance for him to show Moyes what he can do.
Only time will tell if he ever gets the chance to do that consistently on the pitch for his club.
image: © Marcel Sigg