- Kagawa has left Greek side PAOK and joined Belgian outfit Sint-Truidense V.V
- The Japan international had a brief but unsuccessful spell at Manchester United in 2014
- Since leaving United, he has had stints with Dortmund, Besiktas and Real Mallorca
Midfielder Shinji Kagawa’s career has taken another unexpected twist as the Japan international now finds himself in Belgium.Kagawa was recently unveiled as the new player of Sint-Truidense V.V. (STTV) in the Belgian Pro League after parting ways with Greek outfit PAOK.
The Japan international is perhaps best known for his short stint at Manchester United, and he was one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s last even signings before the legendary manager retired.
Despite his high profile move to United, Kagawa had an underwhelming spell as a Red Devil and it did not help that David Moyes took over from Ferguson.
Under Moyes, Kagawa was not fancied in midfield and failed to register a single goal in the 2013-14 season, eventually being shipped off back to Dortmund on loan.
In midfield, Moyes preferred the likes of Adnan Januzaj and the signing of Juan Mata proved to be the nail on the coffin for Kagawa’s career at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson himself was of the opinion that Kagawa ‘gave up’ after Juan Mata’s signing when he was asked about the situation in 2014.
"Every manager has his own philosophy. When Moyes signed the Spanish superstar Mata, Kagawa felt that he no longer was the first choice, and gave up a hope a bit," Fergie told BILD.
"I was very satisfied with Shinji. "He settled well, and I had the feeling that he felt comfortable.
With the hopes of replicating his form under Jurgen Klopp in 2011-12, Kagawa returned to Dortmund and despite his best efforts, only managed a season’s best of nine goals and nine assists in the 15-16 campaign.
He eventually moved to Turkey with Besiktas, where he spent six months on loan, the joined Real Mallorca in Spain’s second division.
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At Mallorca, he only spent a year before having his contract terminated and eventually moved to PAOK on an 18-month deal in January 2021.
Barely a year later, Kagawa is on the move again, with STTV in Belgium, a club that is only five points off the relegation play off places.