Charm, talent, cheeky grin. Kagawa's love affair begins


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The Independent Online

Shinji Kagawa manufactured a moment every Manchester United supporter ought to savour while being unveiled as his side's new signing on a four-year deal yesterday. The eyes of the football world were watching when a Japanese journalist asked how he was developing as a player and about the challenge of playing at Old Trafford.

Looking towards his trusty interpreter on the right, Kagawa allowed himself the cheekiest of small grins, excitement silently screaming, before relaying: "I've always said I have to improve my playing qualities; now I've been here a bit I can really feel the difference. I'm happy to be here and every day I'll take the chance to improve myself. It's definitely the greatest challenge of my career."

It was clear to see the midfielder, on looking at the packed press room and answering questions, knew he had arrived and that this was his destiny.

Looking at him taking all this in, you sensed someone special might be embarking on a love affair with the Premier League.

The possession of a confidence crucial to becoming a success was evident, but that was exuded safe in the knowledge there are a magnitude of reasons why Sir Alex Ferguson decided to pay Borussia Dortmund £13m for his services.

Playing behind the striker is his forte. Kagawa's movement between the lines was something Ferguson's side lacked last season, where for spells they looked too one-paced to win the title.

He netted 17 goals for Dortmund last season, including the opener in the German Cup final against Bayern Munich and a fine finish against Arsenal in the Champions League.

There is no doubt he has the charm and talent to be a success, but we'll have to wait and see if he has the temperament.. .

I'm happy to be here and every day I'll take the chance to improve. It's the greatest challenge of my career