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Player to watch this season: Shinji Kagawa at Man Utd

| 08.07.2013

Six goals and four assists was not a bad Premier League return for Shinji Kagawa in his debut Premier League season and with the distinct possibility of more game time in the upcoming campaign, he could become even more of the player that was signed from Borussia Dortmund.

Kagawa made just 17 starts and three substitute appearances for the Red Devils last season in the top flight and many of these were in the slightly uncommon less-preferred wider position.

It may have been a stretch for Kagawa to waltz straight into Old Trafford and immediately land a starring role as a number 10 off a lone striker, bearing in mind that Sir Alex Ferguson regularly picked two strikers.

Based on his Everton tenure as manager, David Moyes is perhaps more likely to play with a lone striker with another player just off him, which was previously Marouane Fellaini.

Given his eye for a through ball, non-stop movement and ability to find pockets of space, this is almost certainly his best position, as he showcased for Dortmund when linking impressively well with Robert Lewandowski.

However, at Man Utd he has more regularly found himself in the wider berths of a front three.

The likes of David Silva and Juan Mata do influence play centrally from similar positions at Manchester City and Chelsea respectively and there is the prospect that he may be forced to use this duo as a blueprint.

With Nani expected to leave Old Trafford, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia not in form last season and Wilfried Zaha likely to be broken in slowly after signing from Crystal Palace, the wide spots are certainly up for grabs.

As Wayne Rooney is also looking more likely to stay based on the latest reports, the England forward could be used in the number 10 role behind Robin van Persie.

Manchester United are marginal favourites at 2/1 to win the Premier League this season and with Kagawa on song this could prove a big price.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.