Man United’s Rafael: Shinji Kagawa will be more influential next season

Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva says he is sure "smart" Shinji Kagawa will be more influential next season

shinji kagawa
Shinji Kagawa joined Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund Photo: Back Page Images

Rafael Da Silva believes Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa will be more influential next season.

The Japan international struggled to hold down a regular starting spot in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side over the course of their Premier League title-winning campaign.

The 24-year-old scored six goals in 17 top-flight starts after completing a £17m move to Old Trafford from Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund last July.

However, the Brazilian right-back has been impressed by Kagawa’s impact at the 20-time English champions and is confident the playmaker will be a key player under new manager David Moyes.

“I’m sure about that [Kagawa will be more influential next season],” Rafael told United’s website.

“He’s a clever footballer. Maybe it’s always hard when you come over and it’s been the first season for him.

“He is Japanese and played in Germany, where it’s a completely different type of football. But he’s a clever player and shows this in training.”

Rafael believes Kagawa still made a telling contribution to their Premier League title, while also pointing to Robin van Persie’s arrival as a key factor in their success.

“I think we were extremely focused this season,” he added.

“I think we have had the mentality to get the trophy back. Everyone worked together. Robin coming in has helped a lot as well, Shinji Kagawa too because he is also such a good player. The players we brought in helped ensure the spirit of the team is very good.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
‘Let’s see’: Fabrizio Romano makes claim about next Man United signing
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
‘He’s happy to move’: Duncan Castles says 22-year-old is keen on Chelsea FC move
Bukayo Saka
Ben White admits Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has already surprised him
Paul Pogba
Fabrizio Romano issues update on Paul Pogba's Man United future
Mikel Arteta
Fabrizio Romano: Ruben Neves is on Arsenal and Man United's transfer wish-lists
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
‘Let’s see’: Fabrizio Romano makes claim about next Man United signing
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
‘He’s happy to move’: Duncan Castles says 22-year-old is keen on Chelsea FC move
Bukayo Saka
Ben White admits Arsenal star Bukayo Saka has already surprised him
Paul Pogba
Fabrizio Romano issues update on Paul Pogba's Man United future
Mikel Arteta
Fabrizio Romano: Ruben Neves is on Arsenal and Man United's transfer wish-lists
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature