Shinji Kagawa and Eden Hazard will blow Premier League away
Manchester United and Chelsea are proving to be the early pacesetters in this summer's transfer window; both sides have already shown their intentions to mount a serious challenge on next season's Premier League title, with the acquisition of two major signings.
The highly rated Belgian Eden Hazard joined this year’s Champions League winners Chelsea in favour of Manchester United and City, however the Red Devils responded positively by securing the services of Japanese star Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund.
Both players are young, fast, attacking midfield additions, they possess excellent skills and dribbling techniques that will be sure to light up the Premier League next season. Kagawa will surely add some excitement in United’s midfield while Hazard will add speed to the Blue’s.
Eden Hazard joined Lille in 2005 when he signed for the French side from Belgian side Tubize, the youngster went on to establish himself as one of the brightest young prospects in Ligue 1, ever since he was named Young Player of the Year at the age of 17, in 2008-09.
He's an attacker who can play out wide on either flank, behind the front man or as an out-and-out striker, Hazard explained that his decision to join Chelsea was partly based on the opportunity to play more regularly in that position.
His most impressive season was the 2010-11, when Hazard helped Lille to the domestic league and cup double with a series of scintillating displays that culminated in his stock continuing to rise rapidly.
But, despite widespread interest from Europe’s elite clubs last summer, he decided to stay loyal to the French club. Well that was for at least one last season, In his final season, Hazard scored 21 goals and 18 assists in 48 games, and continued to play an integral role as Lille finished third behind Montpellier and Paris Saint- Germain, to qualify for the Champions League. He ended his career at Lille in style after being handed the captain's armband for his final game, where he scored a memorable hat trick against Nancy.
But, on the international stage, Hazard has struggled to shine, the 21-year-old made his debut against Luxembourg in 2008, so far he has 28 caps to his name, his most recent appearance for Belgium was at Wembley during his side’s 1-0 friendly defeat to England on Saturday.
Shinji Kagawa emerged as one of Japans (Asia’s) top players, he is the driving force in the Japanese national team, and played an instrumental part in Borussia Dortmund's domestic double-winning campaign this year.
The Bundesliga side spotted Kagawa's potential whilst he was at Cerezo Osaka in his homeland. In his final full season in the J-League, Kagawa scored 27 goals in 44 appearances.
He made his move to Germany in 2010, for a bargain fee of €350,000 soon after his arrival he became a crowd favourite. But after suffering breaking his metatarsal at the 2011 Asian Cup, Kagawa’s career was interrupted slightly, but was a regular for Dortmund in 2010-11 season, despite his lengthy lay-off spell.
Last season, in the absence of Germany’s rising star Mario Gotze, he took over the mantle as a key performer scoring 13 league goals and numerous assists, as the club both retained the title and lifted the German Cup.
Sir Alex Ferguson made a personal check on the creative midfielder in Berlin, to see him score the opening goal and dazzle throughout the showpiece final, living up to his billing as a born entertainer.
Dortmund were reluctant to allow their star leave this summer, but with only a year left on his contract, and Kagawa admitting he would not sign a new deal – this has given Kagawa the opportunity to pursue his dream move to Manchester United.
Head-to-head Eden Hazard Shinji Kagawa
Club apps: 192 198
Goals: 50 86
Assists: 38 45
Cost: £32m £16m
International: 28 caps 2 goals 30 caps 10 goals