• Premier League

Kagawa spurns chance to wear United No. 7

ESPN staff
June 24, 2012
Shinji Kagawa was unveiled at Old Trafford on Friday © PA Photos

Manchester United's new Japanese midfield signing Shinji Kagawa has talked of his excitement at joining the Red Devils, confirming that he turned down the chance to wear the club's famous number seven shirt.

Kagawa, 23, flew into Manchester on Friday to complete a medical and sign terms on four-year deal at the club, but wants to make his name at Old Trafford before possibly stepping into the iconic shirt worn by the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I've just joined the team and haven't accomplished anything yet," Kagawa told journalists in Japan after his 12-hour return flight. "I want to make a name for myself [at United] on my own terms."

Kagawa added that he had asked for a number "with personal meaning", leading to speculation in the Japanese media that the player could wear the 8, 26, or 29 as he did at Cerezo Osaka, or the 23 shirt he donned at Dortmund.

"The contract was as long as I'd expected from a club [like United]," Kagawa added. "When I was at [Old Trafford], I thought about how incredible it would be if I could score there."

Kagawa follows countrymen Junichi Inamoto, Kazuyuki Toda, Hidetoshi Nakata and Ryo Miyaichi into the Premier League, following two seasons in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, where he scored 21 times in 49 league matches.

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