Mata’s arrival in January was earmarked by many as the end for Kagawa but strangely enough, Mata’s arrival coincided with a resurgence in form for Kagawa and for a couple of weeks, the two were working in unison with each other.
However as the season went on, Kagawa disappeared into Mata’s shadow and Ferguson believes the Japanese playmaker lost faith in being at United.
“Shinji is back in the environment in which he feels right,” Ferguson told Bild.de.
“He has, with Klopp, a coach who gives him the necessary self-confidence.
“I was very pleased with Shinji. He had settled in well with me, and I also had the feeling that he felt comfortable with us.
“Every coach has his own philosophy. As Moyes preferred Mata, Kagawa has felt that he is no longer first choice and was a bit resigned.”
Sir Alex is right in that Mata and Kagawa were competition but the reason Van Gaal decided to let him leave is simple – Mata was better than him in his position.
In that sense, Mata was completely responsible for Kagawa’s departure by being better but the reality is that for all his promise and occasional bright performances, Kagawa didn’t do enough to warrant his spot in the starting XI.
It’s a shame Kagawa didn’t work out at United but now back in Borussia Dortmund, he plays with a smile on his face in a place he calls home and looks much happier, so good luck to him in his second spell in the Bundesliga.