Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa may well have just been presented with a chance to save his Old Trafford career.
The Japanese midfielder has been included in Japan’s squad to play at the World Cup in Brazil this summer, providing him with a platform on which he can impress the new Manchester United manager.
Reports have suggested that United are set to name David Moyes’ successor this week, with Dutch coach Louis van Gaal expected to be confirmed in the job.
It’s been another frustrating season for Kagawa which has seen him playing predominantly out on the left hand side of Manchester United’s midfield, with the player behind several stars in many key areas.
|Club||Pos||Goal Assist||Goals||Ontarget Scoring Att||Accurate Pass||Total Tackle||Apps||Mins|
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd||FW||10||17||43||1,061||29||29||2,448|
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||4||6||11||755||17||15||1,230|
|Patrice Evra||Man Utd||DF||3||1||9||1,048||79||33||2,884|
|Javier Hernández||Man Utd||FW||3||4||11||181||5||24||839|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd||MF||3||4||12||488||24||27||1,640|
|Shinji Kagawa||Man Utd||MF||3||0||6||614||18||18||1,170|
Kagawa has been linked strongly with a move back to Borussia Dortmund, where Jurgen Klopp would likely jump at any realistic chance to re-sign him.
Klopp has often been critical of the way Kagawa has been used at United since he moved to Old Trafford and would definitely give Kagawa what he wants, which is a crack at a central role.
Japan would also give him just that which allows him to demonstrate to van Gaal, if he is named United’s new manager, that he can be effective from a central position for Manchester United.
He’s one of the higher profile and more experienced members of the Japanese squad, which means he’ll be under more pressure than to simply perform in the middle of the side.
He’s going to be a player that his teammates look to this summer, especially in games where Japan go behind early or take a lot of pressure.
Kagawa can use that to his advantage if he wants to stay at United because it allows him to demonstrate that he can be a leader and have more than one positive in the United squad.
The World Cup could be the very thing which stops Kagawa from being sold this summer.