When German club Borussia Dortmund told Japanese football superstar Shinji Kagawa that he can still come back anytime, the fans weren’t kidding. The team’s supporters have launched a viral campaign, telling his club, English champions Manchester United, to “Free Shinji”.
The English Premier League is only on its second week, but Kagawa has yet to make an appearance for the team which is under new manager David Moyes. He was on the bench in their 0-0 draw against one of their fiercest rivals, Chelsea. The Dortmund fans are frustrated that the talented midfielder isn’t being fully utilized after Untied bought him last summer from last year’s Champions League finalist. So they took their protest to Twitter, using the hashtag #freeshinji and soon it began to trend worldwide, as English, Brazilian, German and Japanese fans began using it. What isn’t clear however is if they want United to let him play or to release him so that he can go back to Germany.
Dortmund’s manager Jurgen Klopp previously said that he is saddened that United has been playing him out of position, putting him on the left wing instead of the central midfield where he has shone in the past for both the German club and playing for the Samurai Blue in international competitions. He has also indicated that he would like to bring back Kagawa to Germany someday, but admits that this is not the time, for both the team and the player. “Shinji wants to prove himself at Man Utd this season,” Klopp believes.
Kagawa has had a tough first season with United, despite regaining the title with the team in the 2012-2013 season. He has just scored six goals in 26 appearances so far, and his improving play and position as halted when he was injured last year. Since then, he has not been back to his old form, and the attacking talent at United means he has to fight for his position, even on the bench. He has also been vocal about his frustration with himself mostly, saying he feels lost most of the time playing in England.
[ via Goal ]