Man Utd Focus – How will Kagawa injury affect Ferguson’s tactics?

Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa has been ruled out of action for the next three to four weeks with a knee injury sustained against SC Braga in the Champions League. The Japanese international’s absence comes at a time when Sir Alex Ferguson is tailoring his tactics in a number of different systems, and as the Reds head into a tricky sequence of fixtures that includes two trips to Stamford Bridge and a clash against Arsenal.

The 23-year-old has been impressive since his arrival from German champions Borussia Dortmund in the summer, and his presence in the United team is of real tactical significance at Old Trafford. He operated mainly behind the strikers for Dortmund, with an ability to drift out to the left coupled with accomplished possession and link-up play. During United’s pre-season he was deployed primarily in the hole behind Wayne Rooney, and with the Englishman’s injury at the start of the Premier League season Kagawa continued in this role behind fellow new signing Robin van Persie.

Since Rooney’s return, and the strong form he has shown, the manager has been presented with something of a selection dilemma in how to fit all of his attacking talent into the side. Danny Welbeck has started the campaign well, while Javier Hern

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