After winning consecutive Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund, the 24-year-old arrived at Old Trafford with a noteworthy reputation and showed glimpses of his immeasurable talent throughout a promising debut term, scoring six goals in 26 appearances.
With great intelligence, Kagawa even played in a number of positions, most commonly in the hole behind the striker or on the left of a midfield diamond, displaying the attributes that have made him one of the most exciting imports in European football.
However, his consistency and form was ultimately undermined by an ankle injury that ruled him out for over two months from October onwards, forcing him onto the treatment table just as early-season momentum was beginning to mount – which was admittedly hard to take.
“It was a tough time for me with a lot going on in my head,” Shinji said of his first season with the Reds. “I am not happy with my performance for the team at all.
“I didn't score that much and I also had my injury. Despite that, it was great we won the league - I just don't feel that I achieved everything that I wanted. For me personally, it wasn't a good season.”
Of course, Kagawa is no stranger to overcoming adversity. Having been overlooked by Japan for the 2010 World Cup, the Reds hero declined a place on their standby list of players in order to start his pre-season training early ahead of a career-changing move to Dortmund the following month.