Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki on Wednesday announced the signing of former Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa on an 18-month long deal. The Japanese star signed for the former Greek champions after being a free agent for the past few months.
The 31-year-old, who was playing for Real Zaragoza in the Spanish second division, had his contract terminated in October 2020 because the club could not afford his wages. The former Dortmund man failed to make an impact during his short stint in the Spanish second division netting just 4 goals and providing 1 assist in 31 appearances for the Los Maños.
The Japanese international gained worldwide attention when he was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2012 for English giants Manchester United, thanks to a successful spell in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund.
Unfortunately, things did not go well for the attacking midfielder in England as he failed to cement his spot in the United starting eleven. This forced him to move back to Dortmund in 2014. Ever since that move, Kagawa has been a shadow of his former self. He then had a brief spell at Turkish side Besiktas in 2019 before moving to Real Zaragoza in the same year.
Kagawa, who is one of the most popular footballers from Japan has scored 31 goals in 97 appearances for the Japanese national team and was a pivotal member in the country’s squad at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup tournaments.
His new side PAOK who won the Greek title in 2019 are currently sitting fourth in the 14-team Greek league with 36 points from 19 games played. Defending champions Olympiacos are the league leaders with 51 points. A move to Greece could turn out to be the perfect chance for Kagawa to showcase his talent and to rejuvenate his career.