• Premier League

Kagawa tipped to succeed in Premier League

ESPN staff
June 7, 2012
Shinji Kagawa is expected to carry on his success at United © Getty Images

Shinji Kagawa's Japan team-mates have backed the star forward to shine at Manchester United following his £16 million move from Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund.

Kagawa's deal is subject to a medical and work permit, but his compatriots have already begun to talk up the transfer ahead of Japan's World Cup qualifiers against Jordan and Australia.

Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi, who spent last season on loan at Bolton, is thrilled at the prospect of playing against Kagawa in the Premier League.

"Kagawa can keep the ball in the smallest of spaces and is a quick decision-maker," Miyaichi told Kyodo News. "He can play there [Manchester United] for sure. He's Japan's No. 10, and I think he'll be able to perform even at a glamorous side like Manchester United.

"It would be great if us Japanese players could bring excitement to the Premier League together. I want to follow his lead. By learning what he is good at, such as playing in small spaces, I would like to become a better player."

Japan and CSKA Moscow forward Keisuke Honda also wished Kagawa well prior to completing his Old Trafford move.

"Shinji deserves to be playing for a top club. He belongs," said Honda. "I hope he does well."

National team skipper Makoto Hasebe, who plays for Wolfsburg in Germany, says Kagawa's transfer demonstrates how far football has progressed in Japan in recent years.

"When I was a child, Japanese players only moved to big clubs in cartoons," he said. "It would be nice if more Japanese kids wanted to be like Shinji."

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