Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa ‘excited’ to work with Louis van Gaal

19 Old Trafford

Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa says that he is looking forward to working with the club’s new manager Louis van Gaal.

Shinji Kagawa is on his way back to England from his summer break in Japan and he is keen to continue his career at Manchester United.

The Japan international joined the Red Devils from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2012, but in his two years at Old Trafford, the midfielder has failed to spark in the Premier League.

  TeamSeasonGoal AssistGoalsBig Chance MissedTotal CrossAccurate CrossSuccessful Final Third PassesAccurate PassAppsMins
Shinji Kagawa Manchester United 2012-13 3 6 2 22 5 242 748 20 1,325
Shinji Kagawa Manchester United 2013-14 3 0 3 22 6 206 614 18 1,170

With new manager Louis van Gaal having officially taken charge of United, the 25-year-old is determined to prove himself to the Dutch boss and play to his potential for the three-time European champions.

‘I feel incredibly excited’, AFP quotes him as telling reporters at Tokyo`s Haneda airport on Thursday before leaving for England. ‘It`s a new start and I feel re-energised. It`s up to the players to get the results we need. I have a strong desire to do well’.

Kagawa was among a number of players who underperformed last season, which was one of United’s worst in history. Under the now-sacked David Moyes, the 20-time English champions finished as low as seventh in the Premier League.

The 2014-15 campaign will be crucial for United and Van Gaal is expected to make big decisions ahead of the start next month, with a number of players linked with summer moves away from the club.

There have been suggestions that Kagawa may struggle to impress the Dutchman, but the player himself is keen to embrace the challenge of competing for places.

‘I will look more closely at my game and accept the challenge filled with passion’, he said.

Kagawa will find it hard to play in his preferred position down the middle in midfield, as Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney could be deployed there. In his two years at United, the Japanese star has been played largely out on the wings, and he has struggled there.

The former Dortmund midfielder’s chances will not be helped by the fact that he is coming off a disappointing 2014 World Cup campaign in which Japan failed to make it out of the group stage.

Kagawa was disappointing in the first two games but improved in the final match, and he will now hope to start his United adventure afresh under one of the best coaches in world football.

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