West Brom Opinion: Why Shinji Kagawa would be a smart fit at West Brom
According to a report from the Birmingham Mail, West Brom are interested in Borussia Dortmund playmaker Shinji Kagawa.
After being largely ignored at Dortmund last season under Lucien Favre, Kagawa joined Besiktas in January and enjoyed a successful loan spell, scoring four goals and adding two assists in 14 Super Lig contests. With just 12 months left on his current contract, Dortmund are believed to be keen on selling him this summer.
Besiktas remains frontrunners for Kagawa’s signature after a successful six-month loan spell, but they face competition from West Brom.
The report adds that Kagawa isn’t keen on a return to England if it means playing Championship football. Well, that’s the challenge the new West Brom manager Slaven Bilic faces and he must do everything possible to convince the Japanese international to pick his club over Besiktas.
The Baggies narrowly missed out on a return to the Premier League last season as they were beaten by Midland rivals Aston Villa in the play-off semi-finals. And now Bilic faces a tough task rebuilding his squad as the Midlands outfit are again expected to mount an automatic promotion challenge.
Albion have not been very active in the transfer market since Bilic took over as boss last month, with Benfica loanee Filip Krovinovic been the only arrival at the Hawthorns so far.
Following the departures of Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez, the Croatian tactician must ensure West Brom sign attacking reinforcements this summer in order to compete at the top end of the league.
Kagawa would be a brilliant fit at the Hawthorns. He is a player with fantastic European experience, having played the majority of his career at Dortmund in the Bundesliga. The 30-year-old has won two league titles out in Germany, as well as winning the Premier League in his stint with Manchester United too.
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Despite winning the Premier League title in his debut season at Old Trafford, Kagawa struggled to cope up with the demands of English before returning to Dortmund in August 2014.
He was young back then and with time has matured as a footballer, meaning the Japanese could make a huge difference with his vision and creative passing at the Hawthorns.
Kagawa is still good enough to play for a European club and it is a tough ask for a player of his quality and experience to drop down to England’s second-tier.
Nevertheless, it would be some coup for West Brom if they can persuade the 30-year-old to return back to England.