Manchester United fears grow over Kagawa (Video)

The news that Shinji Kagawa will miss the next three to four weeks with a knee injury  will only increase the worries of the Manchester United staff and supporters, some of whom have just begun to become a little worried over the form of their Japanese playmaker.

On the face of it, the 23-year-old has made a reasonably good start to his United career as he adapts from two seasons in the German Bundesliga. The Japan international has been involved in six of the Red Devil’s eight Premier League games and has scored twice, against Fulham and Tottenham. Indeed, there was even a famous winner for his country away to France within that period for good measure.

However, last week Kagawa himself publicly admitted he was not happy with his contribution at Old Trafford so far and indeed close observers at Old Trafford will have noted that it is not quite the same Kagawa who was truly effervescent and brilliant for Borussia Dortmund last season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions as he helped his side achieve the league and cup double.

Kagawa has failed to take games by storms or run at players with the same pace or conviction that he did so well in Germany. Similarly, as is arguable with most Far-Eastern players, he appears a little overawed by the physicality of the English game. His position also appears to cause a problem for Sir Alex Ferguson. Kagawa’s best position is off the front man in a free role, not as a central midfielder and certainly not as a wide-man. When United do play that system, it is often Wayne Rooney who takes up that position, while Kagawa is either on the bench or played in an unfamiliar position.

It is still early days however and perhaps the injury is just what Kagawa needs, the chance to recharge his batteries and come back a stronger player fully equipped for the rigours of the Premier League. If he can do that, then United will have one hell of a player on their hands.

Adam Mazrani