The Premier League season may have finished but Shinji Kagawa has got a very busy couple of months coming up.
Japan have World Cup qualifiers to contend with before flying off to compete in this years Confederations Cup and Kagawa will play a central role in all of them. He will hardly have time to put his feet up.
The 24-year-old is one of the most exciting prospects for next season given that he will be going into his second year at Manchester United and the fact that he will have such a busy summer means that his match fitness and sharpness should be in perfect shape for the return of the Premier League.
He has already been in action for Japan in their 2-0 loss to Bulgaria in a friendly warm-up game and Kagawa had a few moments of real quality despite the teams loss, including a gorgeous swivel and shot on the edge of Bulgaria’s box that showed his fantastic balance and ability to find space to shoot.
And he might not be a superstar on British shores yet but Kagawa is something of a national icon back in his homeland. Given the fact that he has won three titles in three years since making the move to Europe, it isn’t hard to understand why.
Against Bulgaria, the Japanese fans let rip with their version of a chant which keeps cropping up after the Borussia Dortmund fans sang it on the streets of Madrid before their UEFA Champions League clash.
Kagawa scored 17 goals in his last season with Borussia Dortmund and there is no reason why he can’t repeat the feat in his second season with United under new manager David Moyes. He has had to adapt to the brutish, physically imposing style of the Premier League and like most, it has taken time for him to adapt but moments like his Norwich hat-trick or his performance against West Ham showed fans that when he turns on the style, he is one hell of a talented playmaker.