Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed the process and circumstances behind Shinji Kagawa’s departure from Manchester United.
Speaking on Sky Sports before last night’s game against Arsenal, the German coach explained how Kagawa came back to Dortmund, removing any blame from the way he was used by United.
“He was just unlucky – Sir Alex Ferguson wanted everything to be perfect in his final season and there was no place for him in midfield,” said Klopp in a Sky Sports interview.
“With David Moyes you had a manager in his first season, not wanting to take risks – then there’s van Gaal in a similar situation.”
“When he became available we were interested.”
Kagawa scored on his return to the Borussia Dortmund side in the Bundesliga and he was part of the squad, which played against Arsenal last night although he didn’t get off of the bench during the 2-0 win.
The problem Kagawa had at United is that there were regularly players ahead of him in central midfield positions, which restricted him from being used in his stronger role at the top of the midfield as a number ten.
Klopp was critical of Ferguson’s approach to use Kagawa out on the left hand side, but it was his only obvious route into the team and the main reason he spent so much time playing out of position at Old Trafford.
His chances of featuring under van Gaal this season were bleak because of the three man system that the Dutchman has used in the middle.
When LvG uses that three man system, it places strain on each of those players to do a lot of work in the middle of the team defensively. While Kagawa is an intelligent player, that’s not one of his main strengths.
With Angel Di Maria and Daley Blind arriving, he would have been pushed further down the pecking order which only would have led to a January departure had he stayed at the club.
However, it’s positive that he left, leaving relations with United on a positive note should their paths cross over the next few seasons.