Jurgen Klopp’s pain was there for all to see when he sold Shinji Kagawa to Manchester United in 2012. The man who was the creative hub in the side’s recent league and cup double would no longer be pulling the strings for the affable German’s side, and it hurt.
Those pangs could only have grown as Klopp watched the Japanese star struggle to impose himself at Old Trafford. So when the opportunity arose to bring Kagawa back home this summer, the 47-year-old obviously jumped at the chance.
What followed was one of the best “we-can-announce-the signing-of” tweets from any club ever (seen below) and the love-in continued through the player’s unveiling and his debut.
— Bundesliga (@Bundesliga_EN) September 3, 2014
With Dortmund horribly injury-hit, the attacking midfielder was thrown straight into the deep end against Frieburg and played as if he’d never been away by scoring, then creating, a goal in a 3-1 win.
Now, despite his lack of match fitness, the Kobe native is likely to occupy the number 10 spot as the Bundesliga side get their Champions League campaign underway against Arsenal.
The hosts are 1/1 to send Arsene Wenger’s side home defeated and all eyes will surely be on the club favourite out to prove his talent to English football.
The chances of him finding the net look good, with Arsenal’s backline ripped apart by injuries coupling with the Japanese’s own impressive scoring record for the BVB to make a compelling case.
After Mathieu Debuchy strained his ankle against Manchester City, the Emirates club arrive in Germany with worries over both of their full-back positions. Calum Chambers – the deputy right-back – is suffering from illness, while Nacho Monreal has been ruled out on the opposite flank and Kieran Gibbs isn’t fully fit.
With Kagawa – who has 22 strikes in 50 games for Dortmund – given license to roam from a central position, another night spent on the score sheet awaits.
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