Shinji eyes more awards
Shinji Kagawa is delighted to have been recognised by fans in his first month with United and is hoping to pick up more honours as the season progresses.
The Japanese summer signing was named ManUtd.com’s Player of the Month for August after making an instant impact both in pre-season and in the opening league games against Everton and Fulham.
“I am very happy to win the award,” the 23-year-old told ManUtd.jp. “I will keep trying my best in every match, to express my style of play and to help the team win.
“We are expected to challenge for trophies this season, in particular the league title, and I am committed to contributing to that goal.”
The Reds have already played once in September, the dramatic 3-2 win at Southampton, and Shinji is hoping to continue his good form for the rest of the month, starting with Saturday’s game against Wigan.
“Every match counts for me, so I have to show what I’ve got,” said the playmaker, who is hoping to recover from a back strain sustained on international duty for the Latics’ visit.
“I still feel I need to fit in more naturally with the team to show my qualities. But I don’t only want to play well – we have to win the games too.”
Should Kagawa prove his fitness, he will likely come up against his Japan team-mate Ryo Miyaichi, who is on loan at Wigan from Arsenal.
“He is young and a very good player,” Kagawa added. “It would be nice to play against each other on the pitch and win the match in the end.”
Miyaichi himself is relishing the prospect, which would be the first time two Japanese players have faced each other in the Premier League.
“I am very much looking forward to playing against United, especially so because they have my friend Kagawa in their team,” Miyaichi told the Wigan Observer.
“It would be great for Japan and for Japanese football if both me and Kagawa play in the game. It would be a special experience and I am really looking forward to it.
“Everyone watches the Premier League in Japan, and to have two Japanese players playing in the same game would be just incredible. It would make massive news back home, on TV and in the press.”