Shinji Kagawa has admitted that he encountered “incredible pressure” when he played for Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund in 2012 but the Japanese midfielder struggled for form at Old Trafford.
He eventually returned to Dortmund in 2014 after being let go by Louis van Gaal. Kagawa has scored eight goals and registered nine assists this season, helping Dortmund to second in the Bundesliga. Kagawa revealed what it was like to turn out for Man United.
“There is incredible pressure,” Kagawa said.
“As you play under that incredible pressure, it’s important how much you believe in yourself and your own talent when you play. And you have to show it on the pitch.
“Those who can keep achieving results are the big players at the big clubs. If you cannot get the results, you just can’t play and move away. I think there are just two ways to go. It’s very severe, but it’s very clear.
“There were a lot of things that you cannot experience in other places. I felt that Manchester United are a big club with fans and attention all over the world. If you show a good performance there, you’ll get praised by the fans and get attention around the world. It was a very good experience to play in that kind of place.”
Like it or not, United players are expected to be at their absolute best every time they play for the club.
It is a pressured environment and some struggle to adjust, with the likes of Memphis Depay suffering from some poor form this term. Kagawa failed in his quest to make it at United and the hope is that Memphis doesn’t suffer the same fate.