New Signings: Profiles
Shinji Kagawa – transfer announced 5 June
Kagawa sealed his move to United in June 2012, agreeing a four-year contract to become the club’s first-ever Japanese player. An attacking midfielder, he is most at home playing ‘in the hole’ behind a centre-forward but is also adept in a wide role. Kagawa enjoyed two successful seasons with Borussia Dortmund, helping the German side to win their first domestic Double in 2011/12. He was their second highest scorer last term with 13 league goals, behind only Robert Lewandowski.
Nick Powell – transfer announced 12 June
Powell made a sizeable leap up from Crewe Alexandra – a club he helped win promotion from League Two – to join United in the summer of 2012, but the highly-rated young midfielder-turned-striker has the wherewithal to be an Old Trafford success. Having made waves in his time at Gresty Road, the talented teenager attracted many top-flight admirers, including the likes of Chelsea. The overtures of Sir Alex Ferguson, however, ensured that he plumped to join the Reds.
Robin van Persie – transfer announced 17 August
Van Persie made a sensational summer switch to Old Trafford following a fabulous last season – at least on a personal level – with Arsenal. The Dutchman won the PFA Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year and was top scorer in the league with 30 goals, three ahead of his nearest rival, Wayne Rooney. However, 2011/12 was yet another season without silverware for Arsenal; the lack of team honours on his CV is something RvP will aim to address with United.
Alexander Buttner – transfer announced 21 August
Following his August arrival, the Holland Under-21 international will look to challenge Patrice Evra for the left-back berth. After initially learning his trade with Ajax’s fabled youth system, Buttner moved to Vitesse Arnhem and made the first team as a raw 17-year-old. Initially more accustomed to playing further up the field, he grew into the full-back role after a little initial reluctance, and still has a penchant for getting forward to aid the attack – something that should stand him in good stead at Old Trafford.