Could a former Manchester United player end up at Everton next season?
According to a report from the Liverpool Echo, Everton have emerged as shock contenders to sign Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund this summer, and if manager Roberto Martinez concluded the deal it could be a master-stroke.
Of course for now it is mere speculation but there are some very big reasons for Everton fans to get excited about the prospect of Kagawa’s Premier League return.
When the Japanese international signed for Manchester United back in 2012, those who had seen him in the Bundesliga hailed it as a wonderful piece of business, but the problem was, Sir Alex Ferguson’s initial plan to play Kagawa behind Wayne Rooney did not come to fruition.
Instead, Robin van Persie became available and was ultimately signed from Arsenal, leaving Rooney to play the foil and Kagawa to – more often than not – sit on the bench or play out wide.
There were times when Kagawa still shone, most notably his hat-trick performance against Norwich City and a wonderful showing in the Champions League against Bayern Munich in David Moyes’ one and only campaign.
But the simple fact is Kagawa was too rarely used in his natural position and it was only when he returned to Dortmund last summer that he showed he had lost none of his class.
It took Kagawa time to settle back in Germany but four goals and three assists in his last nine matches suggested he was back. And now Everton have been linked with a player who may feel he has unfinished business in England.
That in itself would bode well if the Toffees managed to sign him, while the fact that Martinez would surely play him in his preferred position behind a central striker also means he is far more likely to thrive at Goodison Park.
Kagawa is a Martinez type of player; a wonderful passer and a fine finisher who plays the game the right way.
With Tom Cleverley doing the leg-work behind him, Kagawa could excel at Everton and while the rumour may not ultimately become fact, if it does the 26-year-old could go down as one of the club’s best signings for many a year.