Shinji Kagawa. The Japanese wizard, as some say, has been the talk of the town. At 23 he is one of the most fluent attacking midfielders in world football, enjoying comparisons with Spanish giant Andres Iniesta.
He recently signed a 4-year contact. The £17 million youngster was also granted his work permit by the club. Killing the frenzy speculations, Kagawa turned down the legendary number 7 jersey. “I want to make a name for myself here at my terms” he explained. The shirt has been donned by legends like George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo in the past.
With Sir Alex saying that he’s exactly what we need, what does the Japanese national side’s number 10 bring to United?
Kagawa’s signing has put the tactical evolution of the club beyond any questions. United will play more attacking football this season with Kagawa possibly the chief creator. His arrival also indicates the dusk of the 4-4-2 formation we have played for so long.
Looking at his ability to pick little pockets between defenders and slide those little passes in, what formation does exactly suit us? We don’t want Rooney to go back to his pure striking role and we don’t want to sideline potential strikers like Welbeck and Chicharito for long. This would mean that holding midfielder will have to move back.
4-3-2-1 and 4-1-2-1-2 are the possible formations.
In 4-3-2-1, expect Kagawa to play alongside Rooney just behind the striker. With just one holding midfielder right behind and the wings occupied. This is a proven combination. It is very customizable too.
In 4-1-2-1-2, we will see Rooney alongside Welbeck or Chicharito. Kagawa will be right behind. This would perhaps mean that Kagawa will be the solitary provider atleast on paper. We all know what Wazza is like. He will always drop back.
Some have criticized us because of that football. They believe it makes us defensively vulnerable. Obviously they relate it to our derby defeat at OT last season. They tend to forget that we had Vidic injured. We defeated Arsenal 8-2. We played similar football that day.
This tactical change will be something to look out for next season. Fellow reds, get ready for a cracking season!