Shinji Kagawa played the majority of Japan’s 3-2 impressive victory over Belgium yesterday in their friendly match.
The 24-year-old put in a good performance considering he had only taken part in light training in the week due to an ankle issue – and he did so from the left wing.
Up against tough opposition in Belgium, he thrived off the quick interplay that his Japanese team-mates provided and was slick with the ball at his feet.
His personal highlight (3:30 in video) came from a well worked short corner where he created space for himself, controlled a pass and dropped past his defender only for the woodwork to rob him of what would have been a great goal. It was the perfect example of his balance as a player.
And Kagawa showed a refreshing turn of pace (4:44 in video) when he ran at a defender with speed, skipped past him and rifled in a dangerous cross. We have seen him do that at United but not often enough.
There are those that argue comparing Kagawa on the left wing at United and Japan is impossible given the different styles they play and to an extent that is true. With Japan, Kagawa moved freely across the front three and it allowed him to find more dangerous positions than he may in United’s 4-4-2 formation.
However, Kagawa still played wide left for the majority of the game and did it admirably, especially given his fitness levels. He can play left wing and can do it well, there shouldn’t be any argument otherwise. All he needs to do is bring that sort of good performance on a regular basis at Old Trafford and he’ll make himself an integral part to Moyes’ side.