When Shinji Kagawa joined Manchester United for an initial fee of £12million in the summer, many football observers were calling it a masterstroke.
After all, this was the player who ended his last season at Borussia Dortmund with 17 goals, 10 assists and both a Bundesliga and German Cup winner’s medal.
His partnership with Robert Lewandowski had helped turn Dortmund into the top team in German football, while his ball-control, vision and goal-scoring ability pointed to a 23-year-old who was exactly the kind of playmaker United were crying out for.
Fans frustrated at losing out on Eden Hazard and Lucas Moura could calm themselves in the knowledge that a quieter but no less impressive player was heading their way. And yet this season, the Japanese midfielder-cum-forward has shown only flickers of his undoubted ability.
That was until Saturday, when his hat-trick against Norwich City ended any doubts that he was cut…
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