Sir Alex Ferguson says former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa “gave up hope a bit” after David Moyes spent £37.1m on Juan Mata.
The Old Trafford legend bought the Japanese star from Borussia Dortmund in 2012 but saw him return to his former club after two tough years in England.
Both Ferguson and Moyes often shunted Kagawa out to the left, rather than play him in his preferred role behind the striker.
Despite his struggles, the Scot said he was “very satisfied” with Kagawa.
"Every manager has his own philosophy. When Moyes signed the Spanish superstar Mata, Kagawa felt that he no longer was the first choice, and gave up a hope a bit," he told German daily Bild.
Kagawa played in just 38 Premier League matches in his two seasons at the club, 57 in all competitions, scoring all six of his goals in his first season.
The arrival of Angel Di Maria as well as the presence of Mata and Wayne Rooney made new manager Louis van Gaal deem Kagawa expendable and Jurgen Klopp moved for his former charge – Ferguson believes he can star again at his previous club.
"I was very satisfied with Shinji," he added. "He settled well, and I had the feeling that he felt comfortable.
"I believe that BVB and Kagawa did everything right. Shinji is back in surroundings in which he feels like a fish in the water.
"And in Klopp he has a coach who can provide him with the necessary confidence."
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