Shinji Kagawa doesn’t deserve a starting spot at Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

Adnan Januzaj and Shinji Kagawa are two names on the lips of Manchester United fans for different reasons.

One is an 18-year-old Belgian who has taken the world by storm after his match winning performance against Sunderland last week. The other is a Japanese playmaker who is still yet to show his football identity so far this season.

Kagawa is someone who fans have yearned to see get more opportunities at United, especially given how poor our wingers have played this season on the whole.

‘Kagawa deserves to start every game, Kagawa should be one of the first names on the team sheet’ many fans cry – that simply isn’t true.

Recently, Kagawa was given two starts within a week against Liverpool and West Brom. In the Liverpool game, he played well but was never really able to influence it. Against West Brom, he was surprisingly substituted at half-time after what was probably his best 45 minutes this season but from two gilt edged opportunities, Kagawa didn’t leave a lasting impression.

He did nothing to show David Moyes that he simply has to start the next game because of how well he played before.

In contrast, look at Januzaj. His 45 minute show against West Brom was one of the big positives from the game and his full debut against Sunderland was nothing short of stunning.

Januzaj has played himself into the starting XI against Southampton based on the merits he earned from his performance against Sunderland.

Two wingers who were both given an opportunity to impress with the first team but the difference is that Januzaj took his when he was given it, Kagawa didn’t.

The fact that Kagawa isn’t playing in his preferred #10 slot is also not an excuse for poor form. Any top footballer, especially at United, needs to have versatility in order to succeed.

There is no doubt that Kagawa is one hell of a talented footballer but those that claim he deserves a starting spot based on previous form he showed at Dortmund two years ago are failing to look at his current form. He really has done nothing to show David Moyes he should start him in every game.

Unfortunately, Kagawa faces an even tougher task in the fact that Wayne Rooney, currently one of the Premier League’s most in-form players, occupies his favoured #10 role. Would you really drop Rooney for Kagawa based on form? No.

These are testing times for Kagawa. Like every winger at United this season, opportunities are limited and chances have to be taken otherwise Moyes will offer them to other players like he has done so far.

We all know that Kagawa has the talent to make it at United but he needs to show sooner rather than later that he can use that talent on a consistent basis before he gets even more frozen out of United.

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