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Shinji Kagawa's Career Has Taken A Very Unexpected Turn In The Last Few Years

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Shinji Kagawa's Career Has Taken A Very Unexpected Turn In The Last Few Years

Shinji Kagawa's career has taken a dramatic twist, with the midfielder now signing for Belgian side STTV after leaving PAOK.

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Kagawa is best known for his two year spell with Manchester United between 2013 and 2015, being one of Sir Alex Ferguson's final signings.

The Japan international would underwhelm in his first season at Old Trafford and Ferguson stressed the best was still to come.

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He wasn't fancied by new manager David Moyes however and he failed to score a single goal in 2013-2014, despite making four more appearances.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Moyes opted to use youngster Adnan Januzaj over Kagawa and Juan Mata's club record arrival in January 2014 meant the writing was on the wall.

Ferguson was asked about Kagawa in 2014 and he believes the 32-year-old 'gave up' when Mata came through the door.

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"Every manager has his own philosophy. When Moyes signed the Spanish superstar Mata, Kagawa felt that he no longer was the first choice, and gave up a hope a bit," he told BILD.

"I was very satisfied with Shinji. "He settled well, and I had the feeling that he felt comfortable.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

"I believe that BVB and Kagawa did everything right."

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Kagawa would return to Borussia Dortmund, who he'd impressed at before joining United, initially on loan and then on a permanent deal.

It was with Dortmund Kagawa played his best football and his first stint saw him register 13 goals and 13 assists under Jurgen Klopp in 11-12.

He didn't come close to those numbers upon his return with the closest being nine goals and nine assists in 15-16.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy
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Kagawa spent a six months on loan with Besiktas in Turkey before joining Real Mallorca in Spain's second division.

He'd only spend a year with Mallorca before having his contract terminated and moving on to PAOK on an 18-month deal in January 2021.

Fast forward 11 months and Kagawa agreed to mutually part ways due to not being part of the manager's plans.

Despite featuring 12 times, only three of those were starts and both sides thought it was best to move on.

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It was announced on Monday that Kagawa has now joined STTV who are 13th in the Belgian Pro League, after spending a month without a club.

What an unexpected twist.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Japan

Daniel Marland
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